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Frasers increases stake in Hugo Boss once more

Lauretta Roberts
04 November 2022

Frasers Group has increased its strategic investment in Hugo Boss yet again, meaning it now controls almost 35% of the luxury brand's share capital.

The Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Flannels owner says it now owns 3,025,000 shares of common stock, representing 4.3% of Hugo Boss's total share capital, plus 21,139,000 shares of common stock via the sale of put options, representing 30.03% of Hugo Boss's total share capital. 

After taking into account the premium it will receive under the put options, Frasers Group's maximum aggregate exposure in connection with its acquired interests in Hugo Boss, with the common stock holding valued at the closing share price on 3 November 2022, is approximately €1.0 billion (£875m).

The British retail group has been steadily building its stake in Hugo Boss and this latest share purchase follows on from another in October, which at that point gave it a 32.8% stockholding.

Frasers likes to take strategic stakes in firms, which is often a mechanism to ensure favourable supply of brands to its stores, and not necessarily an intention to buy the firms in questions. It also owns a sizeable chunk of shares in British brand Mulberry but has declared it has no interest in a takeover.

Last month it revealed it had been amassing shares in online giant ASOS and that its interest had exceeded 5%.

However Frasers is acquisitive and is currently in the process of trying to convince shareholders of Australian fashion marketplace MySale to accept its offer having amassed a near 60% stake in the London-listed business.

In addition, earlier this year Frasers made a meaningful move into the fast fashion space acquiring online retailer Missguided out of administration for £20 million.

Strategic stakes: Frasers shareholdings

Debenhams: Frasers held a near 30% stake in the department store before its collapse and lost out in the race to acquire the business to Boohoo Group, which now operates its as an online-only entity

French Connection: Frasers held a near 25% stake in French Connection before selling all of its shares in February 2021 to Apinder Singh Ghura, who went on to buy the retailer through his MIP Holdings vehicle.

Hugo Boss: Frasers has been steadily building a "strategic stake" in the German luxury fashion house and now owns a 34.3% interest via a combination of shares and put options.

Mulberry: Frasers holds a more than 30% in luxury brand Mulberry, though it has said it has no plans to make a bid (Mulberry is already majority own by Challice, the investment vehicle for Singapore’s Ong Family, which owns around 56%).

MySale Group: At the moment it is trying to encourage shareholders of Australia's fashion marketplace MySale Group to accept its bid for the business and has built up a near 60% stake in the London-listed business.

ASOS: Frasers revealed last month that is had amassed a stake in the online fashion retailer of more than 5% making it ASOS's fourth largest shareholder.

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