French Connection turns down bid from All Saints CEO

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French Connection All Saints USC Stephen Craig
The bid was initially placed on December 19 to acquire the shares in French Connection at 41.4p per share
// French Connection had rejected a bid from former All Saints CEO Stephen Craig in January
// The retailer made the decision not to recommend the offer to the shareholders at a board meeting

French Connection rejected a bid from former All Saints and USC chief executive Stephen Craig in partnership with two private equity firms back in January.

The bid was initially placed on December 19 to acquire the shares in French Connection at 41.4p per share – a premium of 18 per cent on the share bid price at the time.

Despite this, French Connection made the decision not to recommend the offer to the shareholders at a board meeting in January.


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The announcement of the rejection has to date been restricted under a non-disclosure agreement.

In January, French Connection revealed that the retailer was no longer in a formal sale process.

It said it would refocus on its turnaround to include the “right-sizing” of its store portfolio.

The turnaround will also include increased investment into the retailer’s online platform, a focus on growing its wholesale business, and increasing its licensed categories.

For the year to January 31, French Connection swung to an underlying loss of £2.9 million, compared with a profit of £800,000 in 2018/19.

The loss came after planned store closures and a “difficult retail trading environment”.

In April, French Connection appointed wealth management and brokerage firm WH Ireland as its financial adviser and sole broker.

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