The company put itself up for sale to the highest bidder after suffering losses of £862,000 in the year to 30 June, when sales more than halved to just £207,000.
The brand originated in Australia in 1969 “to serve the demands of sojourning surfers” and was bought from a consortium of investors in 2005 before listing on the London market, where it appointed supermodel Elle Macpherson to its board.
It announced yesterday that it had sold its domain names, trade marks and other assets to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brands Holdings.
The deal needs the approval of Hot Tuna’s shareholders at a general meeting on 6 February.
If the sale is approved, the company expects to be left with about £600,000 after settling its remaining liabilities. The board is planning to keep the company alive as a cash shell and look for opportunities to acquire another business in a “reverse takeover”.
The directors hope to find a firm operating in the technology, media or entertainment sector. They plan to rename Hot Tuna but keep its listing on the Alternative Investment Market, which could be attractive to a takeover target.
The plan would see a number of directors step down and Mark Barney Battles appointed as non-executive chairman.