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Moss Bros rethinks its strategy for the future

Moss Bros has kicked off a strategic review, led by non-executive director and Baugur representative Don McCarthy.

McCarthy, who was appointed to the board in May by shareholder Baugur, is understood to be working closely with chief executive Philip Mountford on the review.

The pair are analysing and assessing all aspects of the menswear business, from product through to stores and expansion. The review also encompasses Cecil Gee and the Hugo Boss and Canali franchises.

The review is thought to have been prompted by shareholders seeking clarification of the company's future strategy.

Baugur and retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford own 28% of the business through investment vehicle Unity, while the Moss and Gee families have about 30% combined.

As part of the review, McCarthy and Mountford are thought to be assessing potential acquisitions, which could include rival menswear group SRG. The acquisition of other casualwear or womenswear businesses is also being mooted.

Moss Bros's year-end cash balance was £16.6m to January 27. This cash could be used to finance a deal.

A source close to the business said: "Shareholders either want that money invested or want a good dividend. Moss Bros should be having serious conversations with SRG. Yes, there is store overlap, but it could reshape the portfolios to become the strongest menswear player on the high street."

Moss Bros was unavailable for comment.

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