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Faith management kick off hunt for buyer

The management team at footwear retailer Faith have appointed corporate finance house Baker Tilly, to help them find a buyer for the business.

Faith chairman Steve Cotter and managing director Steve Swaby have met with several venture capitalists about getting backing for a management buyout of the business, which was put on the market this week by its bankers, Barclays.

The appointment of Baker Tilly by Cotter and Swaby is an unusual twist as Barclays has also appointed a firm to handle the sale - FTI Consulting, which is acting on behalf of both the bank and Faith. The sale process came about after Barclays rejected a debt for equity swap offer from Faith's private equity owners Bridgepoint Capital.

Faith's Steve Swaby told Drapers this afternoon: "We are not in breach of any covenants. We are solvent and trading lawfully and legally and will continue to honour our commitments."

Swaby added: "The business needs a further injection of funds. Baker Tilly is acting on behalf of the management and looking for bidders. The management team believe we can offer greater value for the business and we believe it will be sold as a going concern."

Swaby went on: "We have seen six venture capitalists in the last couple of days and we anticipate we will have an indication of first round offers some time next week. We have found there to be an overwhelming level of support for the business out there."

Swaby did not rule out a sale to a trade player but said it was probably a less likely conclusion.

He added that the business had recorded double digit sales increases at its remodelled stores.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Faith can't go! Come on dig deep and someone rescue it. All it needs is a great product person back in there. If you have your market sewn up, it is possible to compete with New Look's £20 courts.

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  • How long have we been waiting for this? Sad as this is I disagree. The shoe sector is so tough any space for anyone else is a blessing especially with shopper sentiment as it is and the problems with prices out of China. Farewell Faith.

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  • I work for faith and all i can say is we are in the dark at the moment, it is very annoying as some of us have kids and mortages. we need to know if our jobs are safe.
    We are getting in some fantastic shoes/boots at the moment and they seem to be selling, but it is the unknown which is getting us down the most. But I dont think we are alone in this. Hopefully we will hear some thing soon......

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