N Brown shares fall 7% amid litigation update

Shares of Manchester-based online fashion and home goods retailer N Brown Group fell about 7% on Wednesday as it provided shareholders with an update on litigation between Allianz Insurance Plc and JD Williams & Company Limited (JDW), a wholly owned subsidiary of N Brown.

N Brown, which employs 1,800 people, owns brands that include JD Williams, Simply Be, Jacamo, Ambrose Wilson and Home Essentials and the firm also has a financial services division.

“As previously announced, N Brown is currently involved in a claim and counterclaim with Allianz Insurance plc regarding the sale of historical insurance products,” said N Brown.

“The claim and counterclaim are extremely complex, and proceedings remain at an early stage, with each party only recently having completed a long disclosure exercise.

“We continue to gather detailed and factual expert and witness evidence in relation to multiple elements of the claim and counterclaim.

“N Brown has concluded that these issues mean it is not possible to reliably estimate the amount of any potential financial outflow and has, therefore, not made provision for this claim at this time and instead a contingent liability has been disclosed.

“Further details are set out in note 26 to the Group’s Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 27 February 2021.

“Allianz has now issued a further application to the Court under which it seeks to increase the scope of its original claim in relation to a further customer redress exercise yet to be undertaken.

“Allianz estimates the value of this additional element of the claim, should its’ application be successful, to be up to £36m.

“The case is currently scheduled for trial in March 2022.”