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Laura Ashley raises £8m by selling its stake in Moss Bros

By
Reuters
Published
today Jan 16, 2014
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Laura Ashley has raised nearly £8m by selling its entire stake in Moss Bros, shortly after the mens outfitters reported buoyant festive sales.

Laura Ashley SS14 | Source: Laura Ashley


The clothing and home-furnishings retailer best known for its floral prints began building up its stake in 2008, prompting talk of a possible takeover. At the time Moss Bros was facing a 42p a share approach from Icelandic investment group Baugur, which owned 29% of the business.

The Baugur approach came to nothing, partly due to Laura Ashley’s own stakebuilding. Now Laura Ashley has decided to dispose of its 9.57% holding in the wake of a surge in the Moss Bros share price after it reported a 13% rise in underlying sales in the five weeks to 11 January.

Laura Ashley is believed to have paid around 45p for the bulk of its stake so the sale of 9.5m shares at 84p each means it has nearly doubled its initial investment.

The proceeds of the disposal will be used to boost Laura Ashley’s financial position and for additional working capital, the company said.

Laura Ashley’s shares have added 1p to 25.5p while Moss Bros is up another 4p to 94.5p.

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