Joe Bloggs founder set to swoop on Moss Bros

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The Independent Online

Shami Ahmed, the fashion entrepreneur behind the Joe Bloggs brand, has announced a possible takeover bid for Moss Bros, the struggling menswear retailer.

The announcement was made just after 6pm, well after the market closed, on the insistence of the Takeover Panel. It insisted a statement was made after Moss Bros shares rose 12.5 per cent to 35.75p.

The statement said Mr Ahmed was "considering entering into discussions which may or may not lead to him making an offer for the whole of the issued share price of Moss Bros."

Moss Bros is currently valued at about £33m. As well as the Moss Bros formal hire business it includes the Cecil Gee stores and Code, a casualwear chain. The company declined to comment on yesterday's developments.

The announcement marks the latest episode in a tussle between the 39-year-old Mr Ahmed and Moss Bros. He has a 5 per cent stake in the company which he has been building up since November last year, at a value of about 30p a share. However, he was only flushed out as a shareholder when the company issued Section 212 notices this week.

Moss Bros said earlier this week "it is considered unlikely that this situation indicates a prospective serious takeover bid for the company."

There was still uncertainly last night over the seriousness of Mr Ahmed's intentions. He has previously invested in other retailers, including House of Fraser and Austin Reed.

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