Moss Bros sale salvaged as suitor abandons exit attempt

The sale of Moss Bros will go ahead following a back and forth in recent months between the brand and its suitor, Crew Clothing-owner Brigadier Acquisition Company Limited.

So what exactly happened? The 22.6 million pound deal for Brigadier to take the 169-year-old brand private was originally announced in March, before the harsh impact of Covid-19 truly took its toll on UK retail.

The formalwear category has been significantly impacted by the lockdown enforced on 23 March, as people no longer had events to dress up for. This particularly hurt brands like Moss Bros which rely heavily on large social gatherings such as weddings and Royal Ascot.

Just weeks after the deal was announced, Brigadier decided to seek a ruling from the Takeover Panel to cancel its offer.

Moss Bros opposed the decision, citing a rule in the Takeover Code that states an offer cannot be lapsed or withdrawn “unless circumstances which give rise to the right to invoke the condition are of material significance” in the context of the offer.

Last week, the Takeover Panel ruled that Brigadeir could not scrap the deal.

Though Brigadeir initially said it would attempt to request a review of the ruling, just three days later the company has now agreed to go ahead with it, Sky News reports.

Moss Bros sale to go ahead afterall

Moss Bros cited Covid-19 uncertainty as a factor for originally agreeing its sale to Brigadeir.

In March, the brand warned of a significant reduction in revenue and profitability for the year ending 30 January 2021.

But in a statement released in May after reopening its online operations which were closed due to Covid-19, the brand said it was “confident that the group has sufficient cash resources to continue trading through the second half of FY21 and beyond.”

Since the pandemic reached the UK and wreaked havoc across the retail industry, companies including Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse, and Cath Kidston have fallen into administration.

Though online sales have also been affected by lockdown due to declining demand for fashion items in general, physical retail has been the biggest victim as all non-essential stores were forced to close.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday evening that those stores could begin reopening from 15 June.

Photo credit: Moss Bros, Facebook


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