Mothercare's Former CEO Returns as Baby-Goods Chain Raises Cash

(Bloomberg) -- Mothercare Plc is bringing back Mark Newton-Jones to become chief executive officer one month after he left as the struggling U.K.-based baby-goods retailer raises cash to help pay back debt.

Mothercare has arranged a package to raise as much as 114 million pounds ($154 million) by selling debt and shares, the company said Thursday. The retailer also said it plans to close 50 stores and lower rents at 21 other locations. The stock rose as much as 13 percent in early trading in London.

“The business has not moved far or fast enough to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics and shopping patterns of our customers,” Chairman Clive Whiley said in the statement.

U.K. retailers are facing a relentless competitive squeeze from the shift to online shopping plus a Brexit-induced weakness of the pound that’s boosting their costs and depressing consumer spending power.

Newton-Jones was CEO of Mothercare from 2014 until April of this year, when he stepped down and was replaced by David Wood, who previously worked at Kmart and Tesco Plc. Wood will become managing director, the company said Thursday.

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