Superdry in advanced talks to fashion £15m cash call

The fashion retailer Superdry is in advanced talks about a near-£15m share sale as it races to shore up its balance sheet amid tough trading conditions.

Sky News has learnt that the chain, headed by founder Julian Dunkerton, could unveil a cash call as soon as next week after discussions with City investors.

The move will form part of efforts by Mr Dunkerton to revive Superdry's performance, and follows the announcement last month that it had struck a deal to raise £34m from the sale of its intellectual property assets in Asia-Pacific.

Superdry recently warned that sales growth had failed to meet boardroom expectations, which it said could "partly be attributed to factors outside the company's control, including the cost-of-living crisis having a significant impact on spending and footfall, and poor weather resulting in less demand for our new spring-summer collection".

Mr Dunkerton, who owns roughly a quarter of the company, has already committed to supporting an equity-raise, although it was unclear on Friday which of its other leading shareholders would follow suit.

One investor said the cash call was likely to be worth "more than £10m" and possibly closer to £15m.

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Earlier this year, Superdry hired Interpath Advisory to help address its cost base, while it said this week that it had secured an amendment to its borrowing terms with Bantry Bay, which extended financing worth up to £80m to the retailer in December.

On Friday, the stock was trading at around 86p, giving the company a market capitalisation of just £69m.

There has been persistent speculation that Mr Dunkerton might make an offer to take the company private.

Superdry's founder, who established the business in 2003 before being ousted and then returning to the helm, said in February he had "no plans to do this at the moment".

Although he is bound by the City takeover code, Mr Dunkerton would be free to make an offer if he had the backing of the Superdry board.

A spokesman for Superdry declined to comment.