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FTSE: Made.com shares plunge as it teeters on the brink after sale talks collapse

Made.com web site is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Made.com ended a month-long sale process, which it hoped could inject the funds needed to stay afloat. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Shares in struggling furniture retailer Made.com (MADE.L) crashed on Thursday after it abandoned hopes of finding a buyer a day after suspending sales to new customers.

Bosses said they have realised there is "no reasonable prospect" that an acceptable rescue offer will be tabled as it teeters on the brink of collapse.

The group ended a month-long sale process, which it hoped could inject the funds needed to stay afloat.

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"Having considered the nature of ongoing discussions with interested parties as part of the company’s strategic review process, the board has concluded that there is no reasonable prospect that an offer for the company will be forthcoming and has accordingly decided to terminate the formal sales process," Made.com said.

Made.com halted new orders for customers, roughly a year after shares were listed. Company shares extended their decline on Thursday, down as much as 17% in mid-morning trade in London.

It comes as the business said last week that it has received "a number of non-binding indicative proposals" from potential buyers.

But by Tuesday it was forced to tell shareholders that the sale talks failed to bring an acceptable bid to fruition. Shares fell 93% after the announcement.

While shares rebounded 20% on Thursday morning, they were still down around 90% compared with last Friday, a swift reversal for a company which first sold shares a year ago as sales were boosted by pandemic lockdown buying.

Read more: Christmas: Two-thirds of shoppers cutting back on spending

The collapse comes as customers have reined in spending in recent months as the cost of living rises.

The furniture seller said it will need to secure £70m ($81m) in funding to last through the next 18 months, adding that it might have to cut staff numbers.

"The board of Made will continue to look to preserve value for its creditors and shareholders as part of the ongoing strategic review and a further update will be made as and when appropriate," the retailer said.

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