Baugur puts its £40m offer for Moss Bros back on the shelf
Wednesday 28 May 2008
A member of the Moss Bros menswear dynasty called yesterday for an end to "factional fighting" among the company's board after the Icelandic investment group Baugur withdrew its indicative £40m offer to buy the high-street retailer.
David Moss, a former director of the company, said it was time to "rebuild relationships on the board". He added: "What we must now have is a period of collaborative working together and rebuilding shareholder value. There can be no room for factional fighting between shareholders."
Members of the Moss and Gee family, who between them control about 23 per cent of Moss Bros, have been outspoken opponents of Baugur's potential bid since the Icelandic investor said it was considering a possible offer in December. Moss Bros non-executive director and Baugur board member Don McCarthy has criticised the family's stance publicly.
Yesterday, Baugur, which owns retailers including Karen Millen, Oasis and Hamleys, said the risk was too high that a deal might not go through, given recent changes to the Moss Bros shareholder register. It is understood Baugur believed it was unlikely it would get the backing of 75 per cent of the menswear retailer's shareholders for its 42p-a-share indicative offer.
Baugur Group chief executive, Gunnar Sigurdsson, said: "We are disappointed by recent developments that have effectively frustrated our proposed offer, but remain supportive of the management team. Baugur is keen to continue to work with the board, management and other major shareholders to identify ways to unlock the potential in the business."
It is unclear to which shareholder group Baugur was referring, but this year the home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley has gradually built a near-10 per cent stake in Moss Bros.
Some members of the Moss and Gee family have recently sold shares to reduce both families' combined stake to about 23 per cent. In March, the French bank Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux reportedly purchased a near-8 per cent stake
Laura Ashley and Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux are thought to have bought their stakes at above Baugur's offer price, which made it unlikely they would be prepared to sell their shares for 42p each.
Yesterday, Moss Bros's shares fell by 5.25p to 40.25p.
As a potential contingency plan, it is understood Moss Bros has stepped up a search within the past three weeks for a replacement for chairman, Keith Hamill, who said last November he would step down in April. A source close to the company said three candidates are being considered and a new Moss Bros chairman could be unveiled next month. It is not clear when Mr Hamill, who vowed to remain while the potential bid process was ongoing, will leave.
The decision by Baugur to shelve its indicative offer means it cannot make an offer for Moss Bros for six months unless there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a third party making a separate bid.
Moss Bros posted a pre-tax loss of £1.4m in the year to January 26.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...
£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...