Moss Bros board divided over Baugur's £40m offer
Tuesday 26 February 2008
Baugur, the Icelandic investment fund, has opened up a rift on the board of Moss Bros as it ended months of speculation by making a £40m indicative cash offer for the menswear and formal-hire chain.
Moss Bros said it had allowed Baugur access to its books but a non-executive director, Mark Bernstein, who is married to a member of the founding Moss family, opposed the decision.
Baugur and unidentified strategic partners made an indicative offer of 42p a share for Moss Bros, just 2.25p more than the retailer's closing share price on Friday.
Moss Bros's roots go back to 1851, when Moses Moses opened two shops in London's Covent Garden. Ms Moses' descendants, the Moss family, own 18.5 per cent of the company. Moss Bros merged with Cecil Gee, the menswear retailer, in 1988 and the Gee family holds 7.8 per cent of the shares.
Baugur's approach coincided with a profit warning from Moss Bros, which said this year's profit before non-recurring items would be lower than management's previous expectations. The company also said it would cut jobs because of difficult conditions in the retail market but that it wanted to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.
The families fear that Baugur is trying to buy the company on the cheap. Moss Bros has suffered from competition from supermarkets, fewer marriages and the general slowdown in consumer spending as households tighten their belts.
Moss Bros shares rose 5 per cent to 41.75p yesterday, indicating that investors did not expect a higher offer for the company.
Unity, an investment vehicle part-owned by Baugur, already owns 28.5 per cent of Moss Bros. Baugur is making its bid with different partners from those involved in Unity and would buy out those investors if a deal was agreed.
Baugur, which owns stakes in retailers with 3,900 stores around the world, said in December that it was considering an approach for the shares of Moss Bros it did not already own. The acquisitive group has bought up swathes of the UK high street, including House of Fraser, Oasis and Whistles.
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...
£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...