Hertfordshire-based Mothercare confirms plans to close 50 stores

Hertfordshire-based Mothercare confirms plans to close 50 stores

Truth is, this chain has been struggling for a long time.

That won't be the only measure Mothercare wants to introduce; it also wants landlords of 21 other sites to agree to "material" rent reductions in a bid to dramatically cut its cost base. One of the parties concerned, the Pension Protection Fund, has already said it will support the plans.

Mothercare's shares had lost 83 percent of their value over the past year but rose as much as 34 percent on Thursday after the firm detailed a 113.5 million pounds refinancing, including a 28 million pounds equity raise, and said Mark Newton-Jones would return as CEO.

He was given the boot by then-chairman Alan Parker, who has himself since stepped down.

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The man that had been brought in to replace him, David Wood, will now become managing director.

In a statement, Mothercare said: "Recent financial performance, impacted in particular by a large number of legacy loss making stores within the United Kingdom estate, has resulted in a perilous financial condition for the group".

In addition to the proposed equity issue Mothercare has also secured revised committed debt facilities of 67.5 million pounds, 8 million pounds of new shareholder loans and a new facility of up to 10 million pounds from a trade partner.

"The business was in an unsustainable situation and was in clear need of an appropriate resolution and today's comprehensive measures provide a renewed and stable financial structure for the business, and will allow Mothercare to accelerate its adaptation to the shifting dynamic towards online".

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Since January, Toys R Us and Maplin have filed for administration while fashion retailers such as New Look and Select have embarked on radical store closure programmes.

No specific details have been revealed as to stores facing closure.

Richard Lim, chief executive, Retail Economics said: "This is turning out to be a year of distress for the retail sector".

"I think Mothercare has not really delivered on the promise implicit in the name, in trading terms, for generations really", he said.

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