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Baugur to give Moss a HoF-style overhaul

Baugur will ramp up capital spending and lead a complete review of Moss’s supply base if it manages to wrestle control of the menswear chain from family shareholders.

Sources close to Baugur told Drapers that the serial investor would “replicate the turnaround strategy” it employed at House of Fraser to lead the menswear retailer, which has issued two profit warnings since December, through recovery.

Baugur’s priorities are thought to include increased spend on store refits, as well as an overhaul of its branded offer and supplier base. A dramatic and controversial overhaul of supplier terms was also introduced at HoF.

It is unclear whether Baugur will back the current management team, but has a history of investing in businesses where it believes the leadership is strong.

This week Baugur found itself in a heated row with the Moss and Gee family shareholders, who own a combined 27% of the business, after it offered 42p a share for the company. Family members said the £40 million offer undervalued the business, which has £16.6m cash in the bank. They added that they were in talks with at least one other investor about a rival bid.

Separately, Moss is thought to be in talks with HoF about taking over selected menswear concessions in the department store. The middle-market menswear chain already runs Moss Hire concessions in HoF, but hopes to put more of its brands in store. Insiders said the HoF deal was independent of a possible Baugur takeover.

Moss Bros sells brands including Calvin Klein, Baümler and Savoy Taylors Guild, plus own brands Moss, Dehavilland and Ventuno. It also runs franchise operations for Hugo Boss, Canali and Simon Carter.

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