UK: Moss Bros Rejects Takeover, Names New CEO
Men's wear retailer Moss Bros Group Plc has rejected a hostile takeover bid believed to have come from Shami Ahmed, the entrepreneur behind the Joe Bloggs jeans label, and has appointed Adrian Wright as its new chief executive officer.
A statement from Moss Bros on Monday did not name the potential buyer. However, the Independent newspaper reported that Mr Ahmed said in December he was interested in buying the upmarket outfitter and has built up a 5.4 per cent shareholding.
Reuters also claimed it was told by industry sources that Shami Ahmed had proposed a £36 million offer for Moss Bros, valuing the retailer at around 40 pence a share.
Moss Bros has been vulnerable to a takeover since falling into the red last year after being hit by the costs of a drastic shake-up of its shop portfolio and reduced demand for its traditional pinstripes. It countered with store closures, job cuts and a move towards more casual clothing.
Moss Bros said it had rejected the takeover offer as it felt the price discussed was "wholly inadequate", and that a takeover could have a "negative impact on staff, suppliers and franchisers". The group added that it would keep its Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss chain, but convert most of its Suit Company, Savoy Taylors Guild and Blazer outlets to a new format selling at "affordable" prices.
Adrian Wright joins the company from the Bluewater retail venture where has was managing director.
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