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French Connection Reviewing Options, Including Sale of Company

The British fashion retailer is reviewing strategic options, which could include a sale of the company, as it struggles to compete against rivals.
French Connection store | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Reuters

LONDON, United Kingdom — British fashion retailer French Connection said on Monday that it is reviewing strategic options, which could include a sale of the company, as it struggles to compete against rivals.

The company, whose brands include its namesake French Connection, Great Plains and YMC, said that there is no certainty an offer will be made for the company.

Over the weekend, Sky News reported that French Connection Chief Executive Officer Stephen Marks have approached bidders to sell his nearly 42 percent stake in the company.

French Connection has closed stores and hired new management and design teams as it battles fast-fashion rivals such as ASOS, Forever 21 and Inditex's Zara.

Once best known for its FCUK brand of clothes and accessories, the company had said in March that it was close to turning profitable and later added that it would consider restarting dividend payments.

In its most recent financial results, the company's cost-cutting measures helped reduce losses marginally in the first-half of the year.

However, revenue was down over 10 percent with comparable sales in Europe and Britain falling 7 percent. French Connection expects to close eight more stores this year as UK high street sales disappoint.

The company reported an underlying pretax operating loss of £5.5 million for the six months ended July 31

In April, the company agreed to sell its 75 percent stake in clothing brand Toast, known for its Venetian palazzo and pyjamas for women, to Dutch firm Bestseller United A/S for £23.3 million.

By Sangameswaran S and Shashwat Awasthi; editor: Bernard Orr.

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