French Connection agrees $40mln sale; chairman to retire

Stephen Marks will retire from his role as chairman once the sale is complete

  
A sales manager sits near a screen with a graphic that shows a decline in value of French CAC 40 stocks at Allianz Global Investors in Paris, France, August 24, 2015.

A sales manager sits near a screen with a graphic that shows a decline in value of French CAC 40 stocks at Allianz Global Investors in Paris, France, August 24, 2015.

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

French Connection, the provocative UK fashion brand known for its "FCUK" branding, said on Monday it has agreed to sell itself for 29 million pounds ($39.3 million) after years of losses only made worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

The buyer group comprises UK-based apparel industry entrepreneurs Apinder Singh Ghura and Amarjit Singh Grewal, as well as holding company KJR Brothers Ltd.

Stephen Marks, who founded the company nearly 50 years ago and remains its top shareholder, will retire from his role as chairman once the sale is complete, French Connection said.

Ghura, a longtime supplier to the apparel industry and more recently an investor, owns 25.4% of the company, while Marks owns a 41.5% stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon.

The offer of 30 pence per French Connection share represents a 30% premium to the stock price before the company revealed the bid last month. 

The deal comes after French Connection began seeking new suitors earlier this year after investment firms Spotlight Brands and Gordon Brothers pulled out of early talks to buy the company.

($1 = 0.7383 pounds)

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) ((saisachin.r@tr.com; +91 80 6182 2754; Twitter: @sachinr27;))


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