Joules Group, Next Plc end investment talks, shares dive 45%

The Next logo is seen at a store of the clothing retailer in London
The Next logo is seen at a store of the clothing retailer in London, Britain, November 23, 2021. Picture taken November 23, 2021. REUTERS/May James

Sept 13 (Reuters) - Joules Group (JOUL.L) said on Tuesday it was no longer in talks with retailer Next Plc (NXT.L) over a potential 15 million pound ($17.29 million)equity investment in the British fashion group, sending its shares down more than 45%.

Joules, which did not disclose the reason behind the stalled talks, has been struggling with its finances as consumers turn cautious about spending due to surging inflation and a deepening cost of living crisis.

The company, which sells clothing, footwear and accessories among others, said it was assessing its ongoing financing requirements and considering alternative options, including a possible equity raise.

Joules added it was developing a turnaround plan to drive higher profitability through a better pricing and promotional strategy, focusing on more profitable product categories, among others, as it looks to cutting costs.

The company, which last month warned of an annual loss, said its outlook for the full year was unchanged.

Shares in Joules jumped 33% on Aug. 8 after the company said Next's investment at no less than current market price would make the FTSE 100 retailer a strategic minority shareholder.

($1 = 0.8674 pounds)

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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