Fashion firm French Connection in sights of two potential buyers
The firm told investors it had received early proposals over deals after its shares leapt by about 40 per cent on Thursday amid stock market speculation.
The retailer said it had received one approach from retail investor Spotlight Brands, with backing from restructuring and investment firm Gordon Brothers.
Spotlight has backed British brands including fitness-focused Sweaty Betty, while Gordon Brothers acquired the Laura Ashley brand last year following its administration.
French Connection said it has also received another potential proposal from brand investment platform Go Global Retail.
It cautioned that discussions with both Spotlight and Go Global “remain at a very early stage”.
In its statement, French Connection added: “Accordingly, there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.”
The fashion brand was founded by Stephen Marks in 1972 but has seen sales impacted by the turmoil on the high street in recent years, with the coronavirus pandemic adding to its woes.
In December, the group said it had seen “encouraging” sales after some stores were able to reopen, before the latest lockdowns kicked in across the UK.
The takeover approaches come more than a year after French Connection called off plans to find a buyer following a year-long search.
A deal could also secure a payout for Mike Ashley, whose Frasers Group retail empire owns a significant slice of French Connection.
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