Crew Clothing’s acquisition of Moss Bros is a “positive thing at a dark time”, industry insiders have told Drapers.
The owner of Crew Clothing, Brigadier Acquisition Company, which is controlled by Menoshi Shina, agreed to pay 22p a share for the menswear tailoring business last week.
The acquisition is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2020.
Simon Berwin, former non-executive director at Moss Bros and former managing director of suit brand Berwin & Berwin, said: “We owned 29% of it from 2008 to 2012. Even during the time we were there, the business needed privatising.
“This is a very positive move. It’s the thing that needs to happen. Consolidation needs to happen across wholesale/supply chain and retail to get through the rocky waters ahead. I think it is a great result for both Moss Bros and Crew Clothing.
“If you put Moss’s formalwear expertise with Crew’s casual expertise, then you’ve got a very interesting business. It’s a very positive thing at a very dark time.”
A menswear supplier agreed: “The casual side could help the formal and the formal can be helped by volumes on the casual side – and you’ve also got another outlet for the casual to go into all their formal stores.
“I think the price seems low, but there could be other reasons for that. Over here [the UK] looks very cheap right now.”
However, a CEO of a menswear business said: “In an age where virtually no one has to wear a suit, the business model looks increasingly irrelevant, no matter how hard you try.
“I think Brian Brick [CEO of Moss Bros] is a brilliant retailer who did a terrific turnaround on Moss, but who just ran out of road.”
Liad Meidar, managing partner of Gatemore Capital Management which is a significant shareholder in Moss Bros, said: “We are pleased with the proposed transaction to take Moss Bros private by Brigadier Acquisition Company, which represents an attractive premium. We are confident the proposed deal will provide management with the appropriate structure to execute the ongoing transformation plan and achieve Moss Bros’s potential to become a leading UK retailer.”
Drapers has contacted Moss Bros and Brigadier Acquisition Company for comment.