French Connection has angered investors by “ignoring” concerns about its poor performance and repeated calls for a boardroom shake-up.
American fund Gatemore expressed its fears in an open letter to French Connection chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks last August, urging the business to accelerate store closures, reduce its product range and ditch its “FCUK” logo.
The fund wrote to French Connection again last week and has now been joined by OTK Holding and Zoar Invest.
The shareholders argue the retailer could run out of cash by the summer and be forced to sell some of its most valuable assets, including the lease on its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street. They also reiterated calls for Marks to split his dual role, and for the replacement of non-executive directors Dean Murray and Claire Kent.
French Connection’s like-for-like retail sales grew 6.5% in the six months to 31 July 2016 but tougher trading in wholesale and licensing led to losses of £7.9m – flat on the same period the year before. Overall revenue was down 2.3% following the closure of five stores.
Drapers has contacted French Connection for comment.