Seraphine shareholder claims firm is worth more than the £15.3m offer
Troubled maternity wear chain Seraphine’s private equity owners have come under attack for a claimed attempt to return the company to private ownership on the cheap.
On Friday, Seraphine’s board recommended an offer by Mayfair Equity Partners to buy it back for 30p a share, valuing it at £15.5 million.
Some 18 months ago, Mayfair had listed the firm when it sold shares at 295p each.
One major shareholder, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the approach as “egregious”.
Mayfair’s offer marked a 206% premium to the previous day’s closing share price.
Yet the unnamed top-10 shareholder said: “This will not be the last private equity firm this year seeking to profit from depressed UK smaller company valuations, but it might just be the most egregious.
“Seraphine is worth at least the 50p per share it traded at last April and potentially considerably more if it were able to remain independent until economic conditions become more favourable.”
A number of fashion and fashion-linked companies have seen their share prices falling in recent periods, making them potential targets for bidders at knock-down prices.
Ted Baker has recently been taken over by Authentic Brands Group, while Joules saw it share price declining ahead of its administration filing and purchase by Next and founder Tom Joule. Dr Martens also saw its share price dropping sharply after it released an update this month, and Boohoo’s share price fell further for the same reason, valuing it at a fraction of its former value.
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