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Mothercare ditches its boss as it pleads with lenders for a rescue deal

Struggling retailer Mothercare has dumped its chief executive as it pleads with lenders for a rescue deal.
Mark Newton-Jones, who has been running the baby products seller since 2014, was asked to stand down this morning, shortly before the company announced he would be replaced by former Tesco executive David Wood with immediate effect.
Alan Parker, chairman, denied the company’s creditors had been pushing for a change of leadership as a condition of the refinancing deal Mothercare is in the process of negotiating.
He said: “We have looked at the results over the last few years and frankly we have been disappointed. The share price, the performance of the company, and the results have not been what anybody wanted.”
Mr Parker added: “Although we recognise that Mark has done a good job, we think we can do even better going forward.”
Mothercare
Mothercare brought in KPMG in March to help it renegotiate its debts and secure new funding to avoid becoming the latest high street name to go under. 
Its lenders agreed to delay the test date on its financial covenants from the end of March to May, giving it more breathing space to improve its financial position.
Mr Parker added: “The relationship we have with our banks is excellent, the strategy remains the same, what we’ve done is provide even more effective leadership to deliver the results going forward.”
The retailer has been fighting to turn around its fortunes for several years as it has grappled with a shift away from bricks and mortar retail and difficulties with its international franchises.
Its same-store sales enjoyed a brief resurgence at the beginning of last year but slumped over Christmas after consumers were left unimpressed by its decision to offer fewer discounts.  
Mothercare ditches its boss as it pleads with lenders for a rescue deal

Mothercare has been closing stores as it tries to switch focus to online sales
Mothercare's shares have fallen to an all-time low, now changing hands for 18p in afternoon trade, 1.4pc below yesterday’s close and down from a peak of 295p in 2016.
Mr Wood was most recently group president of Kmart, running the grocery and pharmaceutical businesses belonging to US retail giant Sears Holdings. Before that he led Tesco’s health and wellness division.
Mr Parker refused to specify how long the board had been searching for a replacement for Mr Newton-Jones, but said: “Clearly this is a big decision and it takes time for the board to weigh up and debate the options, and it also takes time to find the right person.”
Mothercare, which has around 140 UK stores and almost 1,000 international franchises, posted a pre-tax loss of ?16.8m in the six months to October on revenues of ?340m.
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