Shannon linked to Country Casuals bid

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The Independent Online

John Shannon, the former chairman and chief executive of Country Casuals, yesterday emerged as a possible bidder for the company he left just one day after a profits warning.

The board of Country Casuals said yesterday it had received an approach from Ciro Holdings, a company controlled by Mr Shannon in connection with a possible bid for the company.

Shares in the company, a manufacturer and retailer of ladies' fashion wear, moved 19p higher to 134p on the announcement.

Mr Shannon left Country Casuals in September last year immediately after the profits warning and after a row about the length of his service contract. Mr Shannon, who still owns nearly 20 per cent of the shares in the company, wanted his contract, which reverted to being of one-year duration, extended to two or three years but the board refused to sanction such an increase.

Country Casuals said yesterday the timing of Mr Shannon's approach was "opportunistic" and the level of the possible offer did not reflect the potential of the Group.

Ciro Holdings is believed to be a company taken over by Mr Shannon earlier this year. In his move on Country Casuals Mr Shannon is being advised by the accountants, Robson Rhodes.

Last month the company said it had reduced its half-year losses from pounds 1.49m to pounds 1.05m, partly thanks to the disposal of its loss-making Koto fashion chain.