French Connection Group Live Discussion

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TX2 08 Oct 2018

Sports Direct take stake-bid coming ? A sale of the business may still be some way off but I would expect at least £1 per share or £100m in total based on a valuation of £60m for brand name;the company has a license income of £6m per annum from third parties alone & £40m being the book value of other net assets.The problems in the retail division caused by high rental costs are now drawing to a close as the leases on the most troublesome stores are now close to expiry.The wholesale division is very profitable. Sports Direct may be a potential buyer as apart from being the second largest shareholder FCCN has around 30 House of Frazer Concessions;but SM will hold out for the highest bidder. I am quite happy to continue holding until sale.

Ripley94 08 Oct 2018

Sports Direct take stake-bid coming ? Had to wait over a year plus 8 months coldascheese but the RNS out this morning and all over news looks like you called this correctly . Up for sale and his name in the frame . 30 % up on news .

Meanbugger 27 Jul 2017

Re: Sports Direct take stake-bid coming ... My reading of the situation is Sports Direct has increased its holding as the pipsqueak so-called activist investors have folded their hands and moved on. My concern now is MA may join forces with SM to take FC private between themselves. FC doesn't exactly have strong non-execs to look after the smaller shareholders and neither SM or MA are well-known for caring about what other people think about them. I've heard that SM and MA get on well together. There is clearly mutual respect which clearly there wasn't with amateurs like Gatemore holding 8% up against SM with 40% plus. The stupidity of the activists' case was they weren't arguing for a different corporate strategy from the one already in progress but their demands were based on SM splitting his joint chairman and ceo role which would have added to company overheads.I won't be shedding any tears if as suspected the activists have moved on. I just hope that small shareholders like me get treated generously or even just fairly in the next chapter of FC's corporate development.

II Editor 15 Mar 2017

NEW ARTICLE: Trends and Targets for 15/03/2017 " THE FRENCH CONNECTION (LSE:FCCN)  When the markets are a bit flat, we welcome emails regarding shares in the news though, following Laura Ashley, were surprised at a further clothing company appearing in our mailbox. French Connection is a ..."[link]

II Editor 14 Mar 2017

NEW ARTICLE: Can French Connection be worth 55% more? "Will LSE:FCCN:French Connection ever return to profit? Having just recorded a fifth consecutive annual loss, and with another one forecast this year, investors have grown weary waiting for the fashion retailer's turnaround.So, it was no surprise ..."[link]

Meanbugger 14 Mar 2017

Results Investors had braced themselves for shocking results but they weren't that bad. Valid reasons such as the bankruptcy of the US shoe licensee and a change in perfumes licensee helped as well. Cash was much better than expected and there is clearly a greater emphasis on cost control with the comments about space at head office in Camden.The company is doing a series of meetings with potential institutional investors and brokers so they are trying to raise the company's profile and generate interest among investors other than the activists and opportunists who have been the main buyers in the last few years.It must help to have Mike Ashley sitting there with 10%. It's an easy each-way bet for him. If FC recovers he cashes out at a profit. If it runs out of cash he steams in with a business proposition. Ashley knows all about Wholesale and Licensing from owning the Dunlop brand which is currently being sold to Sumitomo. Like the rest of us he knows this division of FC is potentially worth £100m or £1 a share. FC just needs to continue reducing the Retail losses and excessive head office costs.

Meanbugger 20 Feb 2017

Christos departs Christos was one of the rays of hope at French Connection. His departure to a competitor on the face of it is not good news but maybe he can persuade his new employers to open their chequebook and make an offer Stephen Marks cannot turn down.

TX2 02 Feb 2017

Re: Sports Direct take stake-bid coming ? Yes interesting it is difficult of course to decide if these parties are building up a stake because they think someone else will make a bid or whether they are interested in their own capacity.It is probable that the US fund falls in the first category as might WA Capital as success though Dunelm is,FCCN is in a very different field.We could make a case that Mike Ashley could get value both from the brand and solve the problem of the retail division by incorporating it within his Flannels chain;but that may be just wishful thinking on our part!

coldascheese 02 Feb 2017

Sports Direct take stake-bid coming ? Beginning to look very interesting here as Mike Ashley takes a 10% stake which adds to the , US hedge fund Gatemore Capital Management stake, which owns 8 per cent of the share capital, is becoming active and has been pressurising 70-year old founder and 41.7 per cent shareholder Stephen Marks to relinquish his dual role as chairman and chief executive.. WA Capital, the investment vehicle of 44-year-old Will Adderley, former chief executive and current deputy chairman of homewares retailer Dunelm (DNLM), has built up a 8 per cent stake since the start of this year and has yet to outline its intentions.So thats at least 26% in stakes held by those who want a change here-which could mean a bid coming soon.Have bought a chunk-lets see what comes out of this!

Meanbugger 29 Jan 2017

Re: Potential Takeover Quite a few press articles over the last few days regarding the activists and their letter to Stephen Marks. There is also the story in the Telegraph about the possible sale of the Oxford Street store to Under Armour to raise cash. I think we are at the point where the news will worsen ahead of a resolution. French Connection seems to have lost its mojo in terms of getting its fashion and styling right however the value is in the wholesale and licensing division.We need an acceptable bidder who will cherish the brand to be presented to Stephen Marks. A new owner can take FC forward particularly in Asia Pacific where it is doing well.It's uncomfortable waiting for the inevitable sale as the UK retailing business continues to deteriorate but with the value in the brand patience will be richly rewarded one day.

Meanbugger 31 Aug 2016

Re: Potential Takeover If there is a bid it won't be worth £400m or £4 a share. However things are happening and there are people sniffing around the company. Stephen Marks is a very fit and active 70 year-old so he could hang on for another decade but my guess is that eventually he'll be made an offer than he can't refuse.

2sides 30 Aug 2016

Potential Takeover Nice sp run recently. Director buying July and August, is this article why and is a takeover inevitable sooner or later anyway? Founder/Major holder Stephen Marks is 70 now, is it time for him to cash out? Current sp seems incredibly cheap if the figure in the article is correct. Have held for some time myself and have topped up this am. This is a Paul Scott fav as well I think.[link]

Meanbugger 27 Jul 2016

Director buying Nice to see Christos buying a few shares. For those who don't know him he is ex-Next and joined the board as a non-exec in March. He probably knows more about retail fashion than the rest of the board put together. It will be interesting to see how his involvement works out.My undercover research suggests that the shop closures are continuing as leases expire. Summer trading has not been brilliant because of the weather and the new mid-season range probably came in at the wrong price-point. I wouldn't be surprised if UK retail is worse this year than last when the interim results are announced in September. However this isn't the story here. Slowly but surely the UK store portfolio is being shrunk thus eliminating some of the losses with all the value in the wholesale and licensing business which should be holding up.The recovery has taken a lot longer than I expected but I think we are still on track.

alecro 20 Apr 2016

Re: Recovery? Nice rise since I bought in lady October. Seems to have run out of steam so took profits. Good luck to holders to invest elsewhere.

alecro 14 Oct 2015

Recovery? Well done those you bought back when sp in the 20's. Bought back too as a small punt as seems to be a recovery happening as worst of poor sentiment done it's damage and likely only way now is up. Winter approaching and cold weather gear looks more promising. Could be wrong so haven't bet my FC shirt on it. Buy on more positive sentiment in future and room for bit more optimism imho. Dyor.