Icelandic investment group Baugur paid advisers to help them on a deal to acquire Moss Bros. When the group decided against the GBP 40 million bid for the clothing company, it was left with a hefty GBP 500,000 bill with a series of advisory groups including McKinsey, The Gap Partnership, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DLA Piper.
Last week Baugur finished its due diligence and announced its decision to abandon the bid. According to the investment group, Moss Bros’ register of shareholders poses a risk to investors which Baugur feels is “unacceptable.”
Those in the industry believe that Baugur is referring to the possibility of a counter-bid coming from Laura Ashley. The fashion-to-furnishings retailer has acquired a ten per cent stake in Moss Bros and is rumoured to be interested in further stake building.
Baugur first presented its bid for Moss Bros in April, offering shareholders 42 pence per share. The offer got a lukewarm reception from investors who believed a better offer was in the making.
Moss Bros operates 150 stores across Britain and holds the franchise for Hugo Boss and Canali. The company has an online shopping division called Moss Direct and is responsible for Cecil Gee and the Savoy Taylors Guild.
The Baugur Group is an international investment company which was founded in Iceland.