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Icelandic investment bid causes rift

A takeover bid from an Icelandic investment firm threatens to divide a family-owned clothing company. Men's clothing firm Moss Bros has received a takeover bid of €0.55 per share from Baugur, the Iceland-based investment group, which values Moss Bros at approximately €53 million.

Moss Bros, which has been operating for over 100 years and has sales of approximately €173 million, has allowed due diligence to begin but the bid faces opposition from senior members within the firm. Mark Bernstein, a non-executive director of the Moss Bros, has already dissented from the decision and it has been reported that the proposal is also opposed by the Gee and founding Moss families who believe the bid is too low – the current share price of the firm is €0.56.

Baugur is already the largest shareholder of the firm, owning nearly 30% with the Gee and Moss families holding another 25%.

The news of this offer came alongside a profit warning from Moss Bros and news of an internal reorganisation that could result in job losses. The company has said that there can be no guarantee of a sale to Baugur and that it will update the market as appropriate.

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