Moss Bros attempts to flush out Ahmed in hunt for stake builder

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The Independent Online

Moss Bros, the struggling menswear retailer, has issued Section 212 notices to Cantor Fitzgerald, the US broker, and Shami Ahmed, the Joe Bloggs clothing entrepreneur, to determine who is behind a 5 per cent stake that has been built up in the company.

It is the second time in a matter of days that Moss Bros has taken the action after saying yesterday it was "not satisfied" with the broker's response to a previous request.

Moss Bros believes that at least part of the holding may be beneficially owned by Mr Ahmed. Moss Bros has now issued Mr Ahmed and members of his family with Section 212 notices and expects to make a further statement today.

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

The comments came as Moss Bros announced a further weakening of the founding Moss and Gee families' hold on the business. Rowland Gee is to quitas managing director at the end of January. He will become non-executive chairman immediately and stay on the board as a non-executive.

Mr Gee was managing director for nearly 12 years and has been at the company since 1968. His family, together with the Moss family, owns 38 per cent of the shares. It was announced last week the last of the Moss family members will leave the board in a year's time.