In The Style is to change hands for £1.2m, following a strategic review. The board of the social influencer-driven retailer says that the offer from Baaj Capital will save it from administration.
In The Style launched a strategic review of the business in December, when it said that rising costs and shopper uncertainty had resulted in first-half revenues falling 11% to £26.6mn, and a pre-tax loss of £3.1m, down from a £0.9mn pre-tax profit a year earlier.
At the time the business, which grew quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic as shoppers turned online to buy and to social influencers for inspiration, appointed Lincoln International to help it with the process. Today it says just one proceedable offer has been received.
The social media-driven retailer’s assets are to be bought, subject to shareholder agreement, by Baaj Capital LLP, a UK-based private family office owned by Jaswinder Singh. In the Style will continue to be led under new ownership by founder Adam Frisby, who is set to satisfy a precondition of the deal by taking a 23% stake in the business’ new holding company, ITS Holdings 2023 Ltd – reflecting the level of stake he previously had in the listed business. The business is set to go private, and shareholders will receive a share of net proceeds of £500,000, following expenses. The board and Adam Frisby together control 23.38% of shares.
The retailer’s board says that without the current transaction, the company would face administration. It says trading remained challenging in January at February, reflecting “cost-of-living pressures on our customers, high levels of markdown and a reduction in wholesale demand”. In The Style revenues were expected to come in at about £46m in the year to March 31 2023, with an adjusted EBITDA loss of between £4.25mn and £4.75mn.
In the Style chair Jim Sharp says: “Following a thorough review of different strategic options with our advisers and interactions with numerous parties, the independent directors have unanimously concluded that it is in the best interests of the company, its shareholders and its stakeholders to sell In The Style Fashion Limited to Bidco [the bidding company].
“The independent directors therefore believe that under the new ownership structure – with Adam’s continued leadership and Baaj’s backing – the In The Style brand can continue to build on its potential whilst protecting the interests of the group’s employees, suppliers and other stakeholders.”
In the Style is ranked Top250 in RXUK Top500 research.