Moss Bros buyer looks to pull out of 22 million pound deal

The future of British menswear tailoring brand Moss Bros has been cast in uncertainty after its buyer made a U-turn on its planned 22.6 million acquisition of the brand.

Moss Bros announced Wednesday that Brigadier Acquisition Company Limited, the owner of Crew Clothing, is seeking a ruling from the Takeover Panel to cancel its offer.

But Moss Bros is opposing Brigadier’s decision, citing a rule in the Takeover Code that says the offer cannot be lapsed or withdrawn “unless circumstances which give rise to the right to invoke the condition are of material significance” in the context of the offer.

Moss Bros buyer gets cold feet

“The board confirms that it will take all necessary action to make its case that those requirements have not been met and that the offer should not therefore be permitted to lapse,” Moss Bros said.

The deal to take the 169-year-old brand private was announced in March, before Covid-19’s impact fully reached the UK and caused it to close all ‘non-essential’ stores.

Formalwear as a category has been significantly impacted by the lockdown as large social gatherings such as weddings and Royal Ascot - events which Moss Bros traditionally relies on for revenues - have been prohibited.

Last month, the company warned of a significant reduction in revenue and profitability for the year ending 30 January 2021. Prior to 13 March it had been trading as expected and was debt-free.

Photo credit: Moss Bros, Facebook


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