One of the founding families of Moss Bros, the 100-year British suit retailer, has all but sold out of the business following a reshuffle of the company's board of directors.
Moss Bros has announced that Rowland Gee is stepping down from the company's board as non-executive director, leaving the Gee family stake at roughly 0.5%, down from 8%. The Moss family currently retains a stake of about 18%.
Icelandic investment firm Baugur, the company's largest shareholder, led an investment group that bid £40 million ($78 million) – 42 pence per share – for outstanding shares earlier this year but withdrew in May citing unacceptable risk.
Members of the Moss and Gee families thwarted a previous takeover, also by Baugur, in 2007. Michael Gee sought to derail the latest offer and was reportedly looking to finance an offer to acquire up to two-thirds of Baugur's stake.
However, this now looks dead in the water following his brother's departure. Baugur's patience could now be rewarded as it has reserved the right to re-launch an offer which, given the current economic downturn in the UK, could be on much more favourable terms.
Icelandic investment bid causes rift