Next buys JoJo Maman Bébé from investment firms

Next plans to separate JoJo Maman Bebe from the rest of its business, retaining the baby goods retailer’s “identity, values ​​and talent”
// Next has teamed up with a group of financial companies to buy baby goods retailer JoJo Maman Bébé
// Founder Laura Tenison to leave after Next buys 44% of company shares

Next has partnered with a group of finance companies to buy baby goods retailer JoJo Maman Bébé.

The high street giant has acquired 44% of the company’s shares, with the rest being bought by investment firms linked to the Davidson Kempner hedge fund.

Founder Laura Tenison started the business from her kitchen table almost 30 years ago, before transforming it into one of the UK’s leading mother and baby retailers. She will leave the company as part of the deal.

Next plans to separate the specialist baby goods retailer from the rest of its fashion and homeware business, retaining “its brand identity, values ​​and talent”.

Instead, it will focus on growing JoJo Maman Bébé globally, allowing it to “benefit from the economies of scale” of Next’s online infrastructure. Next will also make a £16.3million investment in the brand.

There will be no immediate job losses at the boutique chain, which has 87 stores across the UK and currently employs around 950 people across its online and physical operations.

According to an email seen by the BBC, staff were told last week that the deal would “ensure the longevity of the brand for generations of new customers”.

The email also said the new owners “wish to keep the stores where they trade profitably” and that “there may be opportunities for more stores [and] new international websites”.

READ MORE: Next opens its first department store

Tennison said she was “exceptionally proud” of the company’s accomplishments and was “excited about the opportunities this new partnership will provide.”

She added that the new owners had “exciting plans to grow and grow the brand much faster than we ever could, giving us the opportunity to open up new markets”.

Gwynn Milligan, who joined the retailer in 2017 as chief commercial officer, takes over as chief executive.

Next Managing Director Lord Wolfson added: “We are delighted to see what can be achieved through the combination of JoJo’s outstanding product with Next’s infrastructure and Davidson Kempner as an investment partner.”

He added that the investment is not expected to have an immediate impact on the High Street giant’s earnings this financial year, but he expects it “to make a positive contribution going forward”.

It is not clear if the JoJo Maman Bébé product will be sold in Next stores.

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