Business puts itself up for sale

Online furniture retailer has put itself up for sale after concluding that it would be unable to raise fresh equity to help sustain a business hit by a collapse in UK consumer confidence and supply chain disruption.

Having gone public last year, warned on profits in July and last month said it would need to raise more cash. The company on Friday said that it would look at a range of options, including a sale and possible debt financing.

“The prevailing conditions are not supportive at the current time of raising sufficient equity from public market investors,” Made said in a statement.

It also said that it was withdrawing its full-year financial guidance because of “the unexpected events of the past two weeks in the UK compounding the deterioration of trade”.

The shares have collapsed from an IPO price of 200p in June last year to 5.75p on Thursday, giving the group a market capitalisation of £23mn.

“While the group has had a number of strategic discussions with interested parties, the group is not in receipt of any approaches, nor in discussions with any potential offeror, at the time of this announcement,” Made said.

The group said that a fall in consumer spending had left it having to slash prices to shift inventory. At the same time, its freight costs have ballooned from £8.2mn in 2020 to £45.3mn last year — costs it has not been able to pass on to consumers.

The group also announced sweeping cost cuts, first reported by the Financial Times on Thursday.

“A process has commenced to implement additional cost reductions, including a strategic headcount review, within the next few weeks, whilst retaining appropriate skills and resources to be able to conduct the strategic review process effectively,” Made said.

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