Moss Bros offloads Cecil Gee to JD Sports

The suit retailer Moss Bros has sold off its chain of Cecil Gee stores after two decades of ownership to JD Sports in a deal worth £1.7m.

The divestment, which closed on Saturday, is part of Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick's strategy to sell off peripheral parts of the business and "simplify the structure".

Mr Brick called the disposal a "significant milestone" in his strategy to make the company profitable. He said: "When I joined, the business was too complicated; we had to get the core business right." Yesterday's announcement follows the sale of the Hugo Boss franchise business announced earlier this year.

While like-for-like sales at Moss Bros were up 13.4 per cent for the 20 weeks to 18 June, the chief executive would not commit to the company's return to profit beyond saying it was "poised" to move back into the black.

Moss Bros can trace its history back 160 years. It merged with Cecil Gee in 1988, with the deal bringing prestigious stores including Beale & Inman and the Savoy Taylors Guild. Analysts at Altium Capital backed the decision to sell off the chain, saying it left Moss Bros a "much cleaner and more focused company" before adding the company was an "interesting recovery play, which should benefit from further self-help measures".

For the financial year to 29 January, Cecil Gee lost £500,000 but JD is confident it can turn the operation around. Peter Cowgill, the executive chairman of JD, said the takeover would be a "low-risk springboard for the development of a well-funded profitable premium-brand fashion chain". Cecil Gee will sit with JD's Scotts and Bank chains.

JD Sports also launched JD Sprinter after taking a 50.1 per cent stake in Spanish sports retailer Sprinter, it announced yesterday.

The remaining 49.9 per cent of shares in the group are owned equally by the Segarra family, who set the chain up in 1981, and the Bernad family, who have been investors in the chain for 15 years.

JD said the two acquisitions would expand its retail operation in Europe and increase its exposure "to a broader portfolio of premium brands".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test