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French Connection shareholder sells entire stake

Schroders, French Connection’s second biggest shareholder, has sold its entire stake to an unknown buyer, fuelling takeover speculation.

Schroders was the largest institutional investor at the high street chain and had a 9.27% stake. Founder Stephen Marks is still the largest shareholder with a 42% stake in the business.

According to The Telegraph, Schroders sold its shares at 33p each.

Last week, French Connection shareholders Gatemore, OTK Holding and Zoar Invest wrote to French Connection chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks to demand that non-executive directors Dean Murray and Claire Kent leave the board after overseeing a “tremendous decline in value of the company”.

It came after Gatemore expressed fears in an open letter to Marks last August, urging the business to accelerate store closures, reduce its product range and ditch its “FCUK” logo.

Marks is thought to have replied to the investors’ more recent letter to indicate that the two directors will soon step down.

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