// City Takeover Panel blocks Brigadier Acquisition Company’s attempt to retract £22.6m takeover of Moss Bros
// Panel ruled that Brigadier should not be permitted to invoke any of the Relevant Conditions in relation to its acquisition
// Brigadier agreed to buy Moss Bros for 22p per share on March 12, just when the coronavirus pandemic struck
Crew Clothing parent company Brigadier Acquisition Company’s attempt to retract its £22.6 million takeover bid for Moss Bros has been blocked by the City Takeover Panel.
Yesterday afternoon, the panel ruled that Brigadier Acquisition Company should not be permitted to invoke any of the Relevant Conditions in relation to its acquisition of Moss Bros.
The firm had lodged a submission with the Takeover Panel last month to retract its takeover offer made in March.
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In its submission, Brigadier sought a ruling for the panel to invoke a condition of its offer to scrap the deal, and cited the material adverse change in conditions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic on Moss Bros.
The Takeover Panel has now given Brigadier a short period of time to decide whether it wishes to request a review of the ruling.
“We are pleased with the initial ruling of the Takeover Panel and believe this sets the right precedent,” said Liad Meidar, managing partner of Gatemore Capital Management, which has a stake of more than 10 per cent in Moss Bros.
“The deal to take Moss Bros private, which was agreed after the World Health Organization identified Covid-19 as a pandemic, was designed to provide management with the appropriate structure to execute the ongoing transformation plan and achieve Moss Bros’s full potential, and it is only right that the company is given the opportunity to fulfil this.”
On March 12, Brigadier – which is majority owned by Regiment, which is itself controlled by Menoshi “Michael” Shina, the owner of Crew Clothing – agreed to buy Moss Bros for 22p per share.
The deal followed widening losses at Moss Bros amid an already tough retail environment.
Since then, the pandemic forced all non-essential retailers in the UK to shut as part of a nationwide lockdown, dealing a hammer blow to the high street.
Nonetheless, the acquisition was expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.