French Connection boss ‘refusing to sit down to discuss turnaround plan’


United States fund with 8% stake in brand name is looking for conference with Stephen Marks and board to advance concepts to enhance efficiency

Stephen Marks is choosing not to take a seat with an activist financier that desires him to surrender his double function as chairman and president of the having a hard time style chain French Connection.

The seller will upgrade the City on first-half trading on Tuesday and Gatemore Capital Management, the United States hedge fund that has actually constructed an 8% stake, is looking for a conference with the complete board to go over concepts to enhance its monetary efficiency that were set out in a letter to the business in July.

Liad Meidar, a Gatemore handling partner, stated it desired the reader to talk about a turn-around strategy under which the long-serving non-executive directors Dean Murray and Claire Kent would be changed.

The set have actually been on the board considering that 2008 so will quickly lose their status as independent under the UK business governance code. Gatemore likewise desires the merchant to speed up strategies to shut unprofitable shops and to carry on from utilizing its widely known FCUK label.

He [Marks] is not actually ready to have an open discussion about why French Connection is underperforming, stated Meidar, who included that a larger investor base was unifying around its concepts. You have a 41% investor who is running this company at his leisure, not for the advantage of all investors.

 People Asos .

French Connection, which likewise owns the brand names Toast and Great Plains, made a 3.5 m loss in 2015. The shares are altering hands for 40.75 p, offering the seller a market capitalisation of 40m.

Marks has actually drawn up a prepare for a go back to the brand names previous splendors that includes shutting unprofitable shops and enhancing its varieties. The business has actually likewise employed the extremely concerned style executive Christos Angelides, who has actually dealt with Next and Abercrombie &Fitch, as an independent non-executive director. At its full-year lead to March , Marks firmly insisted business was relocating the ideal instructions.

Its current collections have actually been well gotten by the style press, however any development protests a background of difficult trading, with Next and John Lewis both reporting a fall in first-half revenues recently.

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