Monday, December 3, 2018

News: Fishing Republic still angling for equity funding

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Rotherham-based Fishing Republic, one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK, has providing another trading update following on from having seen trading in its shares suspended.

The Eastwood company that floated on the AIM stock exchange in 2015 raised millions to help carry out its expansion plans. However, turnaround plans were required during 2017 to tackle "a significant deterioration in trading."

After certain major shareholders said that they were no longer willing to provide further short-term financial assistance, shares were suspended and the group's future options were being assessed in conjunction with the company's professional advisers.

The update said that equity fundraising activity is ongoing "and the company's advisers are also in discussions with certain existing shareholders to assess their support for providing short-term finance for the group. Alongside this, the company's professional advisers have been looking at various options to sell all or parts of the trading business as a going concern."

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The business continues to trade but shares in Fishing Republic remain suspended from trading on AIM. Its current nominated adviser ("Nomad"), Northland Capital Partners Limited is set to undergo a merger with SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP and so Northland has voluntarily agreed to relinquish its Nomad status at Fishing Republic.

Reporting its interim results for the six months ended June 30 2018, the company said that it is in a year of transition and that financial results "reflect the challenging period, including the very difficult trading backdrop."

Revenues of £3.4m for the period, down from £4.1m in the same period of 2017, meant that Fishing Republic posted a loss before exceptional items, interest and taxation, depreciation and amortisation of £1.4m, compared to breaking even in the same period last year.

Growth plans had been based on snapping up smaller competitors, opening destination stores and boosting online sales.

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic

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