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Ben Sherman owner among those ‘circling French Connection’

The owner of Ben Sherman, US-based Neuberger Berman which bought Marquee Brands, is reported to be one of the interested parties circling struggling French Connection amid speculation its owner may consider a sale.

A group of European and US private equity firms are also said to be mulling approaches, while Rutland Partners – which sold turkey firm Bernard Matthews in a rescue deal last month – is thought to have previously looked at the business, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

It said the firm has been seeking advice from investment boutique Moelis.

However one source told the newspaper that there are no active discussions at the moment and said it was currently heavily undervalued. Another retail source said founder Stephen Marks, who owns a 41% stake, has lofty price ambitions.

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • Unless French Connection can be bought cheaply, any potential buyer should stay well away.

    If a deal can be done, FC should be a girls brand only, positioned higher than it currently is. It will be smaller, better and viable.

    French Connection whether under its current owners, or potential new ones, need to look seriously about the brand long term and not some 1990's comeback of which that era the brand is so linked with in the publics mind.

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  • Agreed. A decade lacking vision and savvy direction to move with the times - the handwriting's all beauty, no braun; complete loss of creative design direction following Stainer's departure. Let Ashley get a reimagined, high-touch, premium/luxe black-label FC into Flannels et al and keep wholesale happy. Volume FCUK for the masses into SD, cheap and dirty the way they like it. Get the Kendals and Bellas on board. Let's see some music and art collaborations. Free the FCUK out of this thing.

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