French Connection attracts bidders for a potential takeover

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

Caption courtesy by Retail Gazette

French Connection is considering a sale of the business after receiving separate takeover approaches from two companies. The fashion retailer, which has suffered from Covid-19 disruption, revealed that it has been approached by retail investor Spotlight  (…)

  • French Connection approached by two companies about a takeover bid
  • It has been approached by retail investor Spotlight Brands, with backing from restructuring and investment firm Gordon Brothers
  • Both Spotlight and Go Global Retail have until 5pm today to announce firm interest in acquiring French Connection

French Connection is considering a sale of the business after receiving separate takeover approaches from two companies.

The fashion retailer, which has suffered from Covid-19 disruption, revealed that it has been approached by retail investor Spotlight Brands, with backing from restructuring and investment firm Gordon Brothers.

Both Spotlight and Go Global Retail have until 5pm on February 5, 2021, to announce firm interest in acquiring French Connection, although the deadline can be extended.

French Connection made the announcement after its share price jumped 40%  yesterday (February 4, 2021) due to speculation, and is now valued at around GBP 15.2 million.

The retailer’s largest shareholder is boss Stephen Marks, with a 42 % stake, while Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group holds a 24.93 % stake.

Spotlight Brands is a “next generation brand investment and management platform” formed by Los Angeles-based Strand Equity. Meanwhile, Go Global Retail invests in fashion brands and has offices in the US and London.

At its most recent financial update in October 2020, French Connection reported its toughest ever trading period, as losses spiralled.

The fashion retailer recorded an underlying loss of GBP 12.2 million in the six months to July 31, compared with a loss of GBP 3.6 million during the same period the previous year, which it attributed to a “significant decline in sales”.

French Connection’s sales declined by more than half, down 53 % year on year to GBP 23.9 million “predominantly owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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