Mothercare Shares Surge On Store Estate Restructuring, New Funding (ALLISS)


Mothercare employs about 3,000 people across 137 outlets in the United Kingdom, including branches in Walsall, Stafford, Telford and at Merry Hill shopping centre.

In an attempt to save the company, Mothercare has entered into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to prevent the closure of all its retail stores.

The store, which specialises in goods for expecting mothers and children up to six years old, could see 50 of its stores close across the country.

Mark Newton-Jones was sacked by the then chairman Alan Parker - who has himself subsequently stepped down.

Troubled high street retailer Mothercare plc (LON:MTC) has unveiled plans to close nearly half of its stores over the next four years as part of its turnaround strategy.

David Wood, who was brought in to replace Newton-Jones is expected to take up another executive role.

As part of its restructuring, Mothercare has also arranged a refinancing package worth up to £113.5m, which includes £28m raised through issuing new shares, and an extension of its existing debt arrangements.

"Clive Whiley, the company's interim executive chairman, said: "‎The recent financial performance of the business, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in an unsustainable situation for the Mothercare brand, meaning the group was in clear need of an appropriate resolution.

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Mothercare chairman Clive Whiley said: "These measures provide a solid platform from which to reposition the group and begin to focus on growth, both in the United Kingdom and internationally".

The struggling retailer has also agreed a rent cut with landlords for 21 of its stores.

Brutal trading conditions are also partly responsible for the collapse of Toys R Us UK, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality.

The closures could save the company £10 million a year, as well as rent reductions being implemented in a further 71 stores.

Mothercare shares have risen 24 percent on in morning trading to 26.5 pence a share.

"This in turn could force local councils to increase business rates to make up for revenue shortfalls".

Others said shoppers were increasingly heading to value chains such as Primark for products which were of similar quality, adding the brand has become complacent.