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French Connection boss ‘refusing to discuss turnaround talks’

French Connection boss Stephen Marks is said to be refusing to discuss his dual role as chief executive and chairman with an active investor following the chain’s poor performance.

Gatemore managing partner Liad Meiar said the US hedge fund, which holds an 8% stake in French Connection, is seeking a meeting with Marks to discuss the plan. In addition to his dual role, it is also concerned about the roles of long-serving non-executive directors Dean Murray and Claire Kent, reported The Guardian.

“He [Marks] is not really willing to have an open conversation about why French Connection is underperforming,” the newspaper reported Meidar, said.

“You have a 41% shareholder who is running this business at his leisure, not for for the benefit of all shareholders.”

French Connection confirmed that Marks would not be meeting any shareholders as part of its interim results, which are released tomorrow.

Gatemore wrote an open letter to the firm in August, urging it to ditch the FCUK logo, accelerate its programme of store closures, reduce its product range and refocus on consumers aged 25-35. 

French Connection, which also owns the brands Toast and Great Plains, made a £3.5m loss in 2015.

Readers' comments (3)

  • A tabloid's dream.

    Toast and FCUK('d) in the same sentence.

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  • French Connection have been underperforming for a long time as it failed to premium-ise the brand for both sexes when the opportunity was there. Instead it looked to the past of its FCUK days and that was negative thinking.

    I think it should drop Mens completely and take the girls range higher in the marketplace for a long term strategy.

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  • Change will only happen if shareholder back Gatemore. Why don't they stand up to Stephen Marks? He's losing THEIR money!

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