Aug 20, 2018
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Jack Wills calls on Templeman as rift leads to Williams exit

Aug 20, 2018

A dispute between the owner of Jack Wills, BlueGem Capital, and its CEO/founder Peter Williams has seen retail expert Rob Templeman, a former Debenhams CEO, brought in as an advisor.

Jack Wills has been hit by currency issues

Jack Wills is currently finalising an exit deal for Williams after reports earlier this month that he had been ousted in a row over the firm’s strategy, with the dispute between the two said to be turning increasingly bitter.

It’s believed that another former Debenhams senior manager, its ex-trading director Suzanne Harlow, could step up as chief executive after Williams goes. She’s currently working in a consultancy role at the firm.

Williams founded the chain with his friend Rob Shaw in 1999 and quit in 2013. But he returned two years later as sales and profits stalled and he led a successful turnaround of the company that saw it opening new stores and moving into areas such as athleisure.

But despite Williams’ obvious importance, with BlueGem owning 60% of the company, the investment firm’s views are what count. And it seems to have been increasingly unhappy of late as the fall in the value of sterling post-Brexit vote has led to cash flow issues.

BlueGem is reportedly putting together a £20 million refinancing package for the retailer, including new equity and debt.

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