Florida-based investment firm Flacks Group made a bid of £20m for Laura Ashley yesterday, and has until 25 March to strike a deal.
Chief executive Michael Flacks told Drapers: “Flacks Group has submitted an offer for £20m. It went into the Stock Exchange wire yesterday.
”We wish to buy the company and we wish to take it private. The plan is to develop it outside of the UK because we see an opportunity globally for the brand. We now have until 25 March to strike a deal.”
Flacks added: “We are looking at making offers on a lot of hereditary brands in the UK at the moment that need to be repositioned.”
However, Laura Ashley maintains that no bid has been received. The brand’s chairman said the group, owned by Malaysian United Industries, has “no intention” of selling its controlling stake.
Last week, the retailer warned its full-year performance will fall short of expectations after it made a loss before tax, including exceptional items, of £1.5m in the 26 weeks to 31 December. However, fashion like-for-like sales were up by 11.8% for the period as a renewed focus on product and a restructuring of the fashion team in 2017 began to show results.