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French Connection extends sale process as buyers circle

Lauretta Roberts
28 June 2019

French Connection has extended the deadline by which it could be sold by three months as it continues talks with a number of interested parties.

The business announced last October that it was in discussions with four parties following a review. It has now said the date by which it could be sold has been extended to 17 September.

“Discussions have progressed since then and are ongoing with a number of interested parties. As a result, the Board has extended the period for completing the Strategic Review and Formal Sale Process,” the company said in a statement.

The company's founder, who remains its chairman and CEO, Stephen Marks holds a 42% stake in the business while Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has built up a stake worth 27%.

French Connection had been loss-making for a number of years however in March it announced it had finally returned to underlying profitability after seven years of losses having made an underlying operating profit of £0.1m in the 12 months to 31 January 2019.

The £0.1m profit, however, excluded profit/loss on store disposals and closures, provisions for bad debts and onerous leases and other professional fees; when these were taken into account, the business reported an operating loss of £9.3m. Total group revenue edged up 0.2% to £135.3m.

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