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Bid for Gant hits the buffers

Swiss retail group Maus Frères’ bid for Gant has collapsed after it declined to extend the bid deadline for the casualwear brand.

Maus Frères, which offered SEK310 (£24.88) per share for the brand and has built up a stake of more than 30%, refused to increase the offer after it was rejected by the Gant board last week.

The retail group, which owns the Lacoste brand, had applied a deadline of January 11 for the bid to be accepted by shareholders, but Gant’s board said it had undervalued the Swedish firm.

Maus Frères this week said it would not extend the offer but would retain its stake in Gant.

The Swiss company had put pressure on shareholders by increasing its stake in the business over recent weeks.

A statement from Maus Frères said it would reveal the exact number of shares it owns as soon as the amount of tendered shares had been calculated.

The company added: “Maus Frères reserves the right to acquire Gant shares in future in the market.”

Gant’s stock is owned by only a few other large shareholders, meaning that Maus Frères’ intentions to retain and even increase its stake in the company would leave Gant’s stock very illiquid.

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