Slaughter and May advised Next plc (“NEXT”) on the acquisition out of administration of the majority of the assets of Joules by a newly formed joint venture (“JVCo”) between NEXT and Tom Joule, for cash consideration of £34 million. NEXT owns 74% of the equity in JVCo with the remaining 26% owned by Tom Joule. In addition, NEXT has acquired the current Head Office of Joules for £7 million in cash.
JVCo intends to continue to operate a significant number of stores (around 100 of the current 124 Joules' stores) in the UK and Ireland, subject to agreeing terms with landlords. Joules will retain its management autonomy and creative independence. JVCo will have its own Board of Directors and continue to be based in Market Harborough. Most Joules staff will remain with the business and Joules will migrate onto the NEXT Total Platform over time.
The acquisition was announced and completed on 1 December 2022.
Slaughter and May worked closely with the NEXT M&A team, led by Jeremy Stakol and Freddie Williams and the in-house legal team, led by Anil Raja and Claire French.
Tom Joule was advised by Browne Jacobson, with the team led by partner Gavin Cummings.
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