French Connection sold for £29m

UK fashion retailer French Connection has been sold in a £29 million deal.

The High Street brand has accepted a 30p per share offer from a consortium of fashion industry entrepreneurs, including the firm’s current second largest shareholder Newcastle businessman Apinder Singh Ghura, who has a 25 per cent stake.

Stephen Marks, who founded French Connection in 1972, is set to sell his 43.6 per cent stake for £12.6 million and retire from his current role as chairperson and chief executive.

French Connection’s valuation peaked at around £500million during 2004 but has since declined in revenue.

Marks said the High Street brand has made significant progress in terms of resizing and returning to profitability over the last five years.

The High Street brand began searching for buyers in March this year, which saw investment firms Spotlight Brands and Gordon Brothers pulled out of talks to acquire the firm.

“The price we have negotiated is at a significant premium to the share price prior to the commencement of the offer period and demonstrates the potential offered by the French Connection brand,” said Stephen Marks.

“We are looking forward to working with French Connection's management to execute and implement MIP's strategic plans to facilitate the future growth and profitability for the business,” said Apinder Singh Ghura.

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