French Connection Group Plc accepted a £29 million ($40 million) takeover approach from a group of bidders that includes the struggling UK fashion retailer’s second-largest shareholder.
Directors of the retailer unanimously recommended the 30-pence-a-share offer from a consortium, which includes Apinder Singh Ghura, Amarjit Singh Grewal and KJR Brothers Ltd, the retailer, once best known for its FCUK logo, said in a statement Monday. The group announced the bid Sept. 23.
The stock rose as much as 21 percent to 29 pence Monday.
French Connection kicked off a formal sales process in March. Chief executive Stephen Marks has had a difficult few years trying to turn around the business, founded in 1972. The retailer, which also owns the Great Plains and You Must Create brands, has been closing stores and in April said that revenue had slumped 40 percent in the year ending Jan. 31.
Singh Ghura, who has worked in the clothing industry for many years but also has investments in property and care homes, already owns just over 25 percent of the company.
Marks remains the chain’s largest shareholder and has given irrevocable approval for the takeover. He said French Connection has made significant progress in its plans to resize and return to profitability during the last five years.
“It was always our intention to to look at the most appropriate ownership structure for the business once it was back on track,” he said in the statement.
By Deirdre Hipwell
Retailer French Connection Seeks Buyout Offers as Suitor Backs Out
The retailer said on Tuesday it was mulling a sale and sought potential suitors as Spotlight Brands and Gordon Brothers backed out from making an offer to buy the struggling British fashion retailer after the investment firms approached it last month.