Belfast Telegraph

Ted Baker is backed by investor amid row on 'hugging' culture

By Alys Key

Ted Baker's under-fire management has received the backing of a top-10 investor amid a harassment scandal involving the retailer's chief executive.

The major shareholder, which declined to be named, said that it remains "supportive of the management team".

The investor said: "Ted Baker is a well-established global brand. The share price does not reflect the value of that or the investment that management has put into it. We remain supportive of the management team and will continue to monitor any new information."

Ted Baker operates one standalone store in Belfast's Victoria Square Shopping Centre and a concession in House of Fraser.

Shares hit a five-year low this week after a petition emerged at the weekend urging the fashion brand to "end harassment" and accusing founder Ray Kelvin of enforcing a "hugging" culture.

Ted Baker denied that hugging was "insisted upon".

An external investigation will probe the claims, while a committee of non-executive directors has been appointed to oversee the firm's response.

The company's stock recovered slightly yesterday after two successive days of decline, boosted by an endorsement from broker Liberum.

But HSBC cut its rating on the stock, citing "uncertainty over leadership" and "limited visibility as to when this will be resolved".

Shares in the company were 2.7% higher at 1,450p yesterday lunchtime.

Belfast Telegraph

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