Endless saves Jones Bootmaker in £11m deal

The turnaround specialist acquired 72 of the UK shoe retailer’s stores in a pre-pack administration deal.

UK turnaround specialist Endless has bought the bulk of high-street retailer Jones the Bootmaker in a pre-pack administration deal, saving 72 stores and more than 800 jobs.

Endless will pay around £11 million ($13.85 million; €12.75 million) for the assets, according to media reports. The stores and the company’s head office will continue operating as normal.

However, 31 stores will close, which is expected to cost around 260 jobs, according to the BBC.

Endless did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Jones was previously owned by distressed retail specialist Alteri Investors, which is backed by Apollo Global Management.

Alteri acquired Jones together with value footwear chain Brantano in October 2015. Brantano went into administration last week.

In a pre-pack administration, the company in question arranges to sell all or part of its assets to a buyer before appointing an administrator to facilitate the sale.

Endless’ acquisition of Jones was completed in nine days from the initial indicative offer, the firm said.

“Jones is a well-known and loved brand on the UK High Street,” Endless partner Andrew Smith, who led the investment, said in a statement.

“We recognise that there is a lot of work to be done to transform the company to secure long-term stability for the business and its employees, but we are delighted to be working with the team and can see the opportunities for an exciting future.”

Endless has experience investing in the retail sector, with current and former investments including The Works Store, Bathstore.com and The West Cornwall Pasty Company. The firm also previously owned Peter Black International, one of the UK’s largest footwear distributors, which reportedly delivered a return of eight times money in just 13 months.

Endless is investing its fourth fund, which held a first and final close on £525 million (€664 million; $823 million) in December 2014 after just four months in market.