Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Pizza Hut owners Rutland Partners eye up French Connection

Rutland Partners is reportedly looking into purchasing high street fashion retailer French Connection.

The private equity investors are considering a potential £40 million purchase of the retail chain, which has struggled financially in recent years.

Reported in the Sunday Times, Rutland has been investigating a deal with French Connection since early this year.

A source told the paper that any deal offering more than 40p a share could not be justified given the fivefold increase in losses in 2015 which saw a nine per cent drop in revenue to £164.2 million.

RELATED: French Connection’s full-year results hurt by “poor” summer collection

The prospective buyers currently own the electronics store Maplin, Pizza Hut and the Bernard Mathews turkey brand.

Gatemore Capital Management, who currently owns an eight per cent stake in French Connection, have been trying to turn around its fortunes for some time, encouraging it to speed up store closures, ditching its increasingly unpopular FCUK logo and focusing on young fashion.

Founder Stephen Marks is famously protective of the brand, which 10 years ago was worth around £2.40 a share.

Gatemore value the business at around 150p a share, nearly four times the prospective offer. 

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