Did your gran used to say, "You musn't talk yourself up" (one of her variations on a common theme of, "You'll be sorry you said that" and, "Be careful what you wish for"). Well, what would she have said about an 'accessibly-priced' fast-fashion brand calling itself 'Missguided'? ("Pride comes before a fall, dear," and "You'll spoil your tea").
The online brand was founded in 2009, selling its clothes on big fashion platforms, such as ASOS and Zalando, but has been forced in recent months to take drastic action to keep afloat. The most recent action Missguided faced was a petition to wind up served by some suppliers as recently as last week. In December of last year the company made a series of redundancies to try to keep afloat. It also sold 50% of the business to private equity firm Alteri, who must have misunderstood the advice offered when asking the question:
"What would you say about our approach to invest in an online fashion brand?"
At the time of Alteri's investment the business said it was suffering 'short-term supply issues' and its founder and CEO Nitin Passi said, "... this will enable us to deliver on the great opportunity that exists for this brand. Alteri’s deep sector expertise, proven track record and focus on driving operational efficiency make it the right partner.” We in the NTI newsroom think this was about the same time as Mr Passi invested around £2 million in a beachside property close to Mariupol in Ukraine.
It is now reported that Boohoo, the online fast-fashion retailer, is working with Teneo on a pre-pack rescue deal to buy the business and that a deal could be struck as soon as today (Monday 30 May). Industry advisers have said that Boohoo may be restricting its interest to the brand rather than the entire business. That's right, because the brilliantly named 'Boohoo' have an instinctive eye for a great brand name.
If the deal comes off (and you'll hear it first in an NTI news bulletin), it will enable Mr Passi to focus on new brands, such as 'Tat and Rags' and 'It Doesn't Suit You'.
Reebok might have been interested in a deal, but they are distracted by eyeing up the purchase of Ted Baker for about £300 million. Also, the bargain hunting Issa Brothers, who can sniff out a deal, are busy today dropping out of the purchase of Boots, as well as dealing with Asda sales dropping by 9.2 per cent to £4.64 billion.
It's all happening in retail this morning.