Superdry CEO and top shareholder Julian Dunkerton is considering making a cash offer for the shares he does not already own, among other options, the embattled British fashion retailer said on Friday.
Superdry shares soared earlier on Friday to levels not seen since October after The Times newspaper reported that U.S. private equity company Sycamore Partners and Authentic Brands Group, which owns Ted Baker, had Superdry “on their radar”.
The share price has also been boosted by news on Wednesday that Norwegian alternative investment fund First Seagull took a 5.3% stake in the company.
Superdry in its statement did not mention speculation about an outside takeover, only referring to a potential cash offer by Dunkerton, possibly with financing partners.
“These discussions are at a preliminary stage and no decisions have been made,” Superdry said in a statement.
Dunkerton holds a 26% stake in the company, whose share price had been hammered in recent months as the retailer grappled with weak demand and a cash crunch.
The stock, a FTSE small cap constituent, soared as much as 127% to 48 pence on Friday, yet still stand at a fraction of their peak over 2,000 pence in 2018.
Last week, Superdry said it does not expect market conditions to improve in the near term after a tough Christmas, adding that its finance chief Shaun Wills would step down at the end of March.
The maker of jackets and clothing inspired by American vintage styles and Japanese-inspired graphics, has also been working with advisers on various cost-saving options.
Sky News had reported the company was exploring a radical restructuring that could include substantial numbers of store closures and job cuts.
“We are not surprised that these blend into options such as a possible offer from the founder/CEO, given he is the group’s largest shareholder and instrumental in the roadmap to recovery,” said Matthew McEachran, senior analyst at Singer Capital Markets.
“The sooner any cost restructuring can be the done the better. But this would need to be funded.”