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Refinancing on cards at Schuh

Schuh is close to completing a refinancing deal, scotching rumours that the branded footwear chain is on the market.

Managing director Colin Temple said the management was negotiating with banks and other institutions to convert loan notes into a bank loan with more favourable interest rates. The value of the loan is unclear.

Temple led a management buyout of Schuh in June 2004. The management team already held around 20% of the business, but borrowed to buy the remaining 80% from founder Sandy Alexander and finance director Terry Racionzer. At the time of the deal Alexander and Racionzer took about a third of the payment in cash, but the rest was converted to loan notes.

An element of the borrowing included loan notes from Alexander and Racionzer.

Temple said: "We’re close to dotting the Is. This is just about swapping a bit of borrowing. It's a bit like when your fixed rate mortgage comes up and we're looking for the best deal on interest rates."

Temple said although the market was "delicate", the business was trading ahead on like-for-likes and that margin was "slightly ahead of last year."

Temple said Alexander and Racionzer would remain as non-executive directors at the business following the refinancing.

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