Simon Berwin, boss of menswear supplier Berwin & Berwin, has bought a 4.28% stake in menswear group Moss Bros from members of the Gee family, who co-founded the company.
Berwin & Berwin is a major supplier to Moss Bros, with brands including Ben Sherman and Daniel Hechter. It also manufactures for Austin Reed, Next and Ted Baker.
Berwin said he hoped his support would help the Moss Bros management develop a sound, long-term strategy for the company, which runs the Moss and Cecil Gee chains.
Rowland Gee said that he and his brother Nigel had sold the shares to “a party who can both support and add value to this business”. He added: “Moss Bros contains many great attributes, not least a loyal and highly experienced workforce.”
The Berwin deal follows weeks of speculation about Moss Bros shareholders’ intentions. Both the Gee and Moss families were against a provisional £40m bid from Baugur, which holds a 29% stake in the company.
Baugur dropped its bid plans last month.
Moss Bros said last week that it would target a more fashion-conscious shopper and continue to refurbish its store portfolio, now that the “distraction” of the Baugur bid had been removed.
Like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks to June 7 fell by 1.5%.
Fashion and homewares chain Laura Ashley has a 10.5% stake in Moss Bros. Moss Bros chairman Keith Hamill left the business last week.