Moss Bros to be taken private in acquisition deal

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 | BUSINESS SALE

Menswear tailoring business Moss Bros is to be taken private in a £22.6 million deal by Brigadier Acquisition Company.

Brigadier is controlled by Crew Clothing owner Menoshi Shina and has agreed to pay 22p a share for Moss Bros, with the acquisition forecast to complete in the second quarter of 2020.

The purchase price comes at a premium of 60 per cent on Moss Bros closing price yesterday. The acquisition will be conducted through Shina’s Regiment Acquisition Company, Brigadier's majority stakeholder.

The board of Moss Bros has recommended shareholders approve the offer. However, Cavendish Asset Management, one of its biggest shareholders, has questioned the takeover.

Cavendish, which holds a 5 per cent stake, argue that the takeover is unwise, given the ongoing risk to supply chain and footfall posed by coronavirus.

In its recent half-year results to July 27, 2019, Moss Bros registered a 1.4 per cent increase in revenue to £65.4 million, backed by a 0.6 per cent year-on-year increase in in-store sales and a 20 per cent increase in online sales.

However, it also registered pre-tax losses of £2.7 million, compared to £1.7 million the year prior. According to the company, new IFRS 16 property reporting standards saw its profits hit.

Moss Bros chairman Colin Porter said: “In September, the board of Moss Bros set out its strategy to drive Moss Bros’ long-term performance and we have seen some early positive results which support the board’s confidence in Moss Bros as a standalone entity.”

“However, the board is also aware of the risks attached to executing this strategy in the current retail operating environment and as a publicly listed company.

“Having considered a range of strategic options, the board believes that the terms of the acquisition, which offers a premium cash exit to Moss Bros’ shareholders, fairly reflect the value of Moss Bros and its prospects, taking account of these risks.”

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