Frasers Group increases N Brown stake
Frasers Group has raised its stake in online fashion retailer N Brown to 5.04%, according to documents just filed with the London Stock Exchange.
The highly acquisitive group first invested in N Brown last month, buying a 4.54% stake in the Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo owner after it had warned the cost-of-living crisis will continue to hit its sales. Its shares fell sharply at the time.
N Brown said that "uncertainty around macroeconomic conditions persists" and that its second quarter product revenue decline of 9.4% continued into September. Revenue for the six months to August 27 dipped 4.6% year-on-year to £331.5 million. Statutory pre-tax profits were also slashed from £28.4m to £7.2m.
Frasers Group, founded and still controlled by billionaire Mike Ashley but now run by CEO Michael Murray, is constantly on the lookout to add to its retail empire that includes luxury fashion hub Flannels and sport/leisure retail giant Sports Direct.
In recent months it has been busy acquiring brands, including Studio Retail Group, Missguided and I Saw It First and it's constantly linked to struggling fashion brands.
Last month, it also increased its investment in German fashion house Hugo Boss, and now has a combined holding of 32.8% of its shares. Frasers has also built a 5.1% stake in ASOS in October.
However, rather than indications of wanting to buy them, Frasers Group has said the moves are part of a long-term plan of “making strategic investments to develop relationships and partnerships with other retailers, suppliers and brands”.
On the subject of N Brown, Frasers has yet to make a comment on the increased stake buy and what its intensions are.
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