Major shareholder slams “incompetent bosses” at Bonmarche

Bonmarche shareholder
// Cavendish Asset Management sold its 10.8% share in Bonmarche to Philip Day
// Cavendish is Bonmarche’s third-biggest shareholder
// The firm sold its shares to avoid holding a stake in a delisted company

Bonmarche’s third-biggest shareholder has slammed the “incompetent” bosses of the struggling retailer as they offloaded their stake amid a takeover bid from Philip Day.

Cavendish Asset Management sold its 10.8 per cent share in Bonmarche to Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and its stable of retailers.

Cavendish sold more than five million shares for £600,000, or 11.4p each, the price proposed by Day’s holding company Spectre in its takeover offer of Bonmarche.

The news comes after Spectre placed a deadline on its offer for shares in the company, following a recent update which showed a decline in retailer’s trading.

The takeover offer is open for the next two weeks and could see Day take Bonmarche off the stock market if he gains more than three-quarters of the issued shares.

Cavenish fund managers Paul Mumford and Nick Burchett told Press Association that they offloaded the shares to avoid holding a stake in a delisted company.

Mumford also said it was “disgraceful” that Bonmarche’s board had done a u-turn with regard to Spectre’s offer, recommending the takeover after previously rebuffing it.

He added that this was down to “sheer incompetent management”.

“They’ve caved in and they’ve said there’s no alternative,” he told Press Assocation.

“They’ve just sort of thrown in the towel.

“We’re heartily fed up of that and unfortunately decided to move on.”

Cavendish’s exit puts Spectre a step closer to taking full control of Bonmarche.

Spectre had acquired 52.4 per cent of Bonmarché’s shares in April, which triggered a mandatory takeover bid.

Spectre offered to buy the remainder of the shares for the price it paid at 11.45p.

The firm’s takeover offer will close on July 12.

Until then, Spectre is obliged to acquire any shares that become available at the agreed price.

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