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French Connection Lands Three New Potential Suitors

French Connection now has a formal sale process in place after new suitors have thrown their hats into its ring.

The British fashion chain, which has consulted with the U.K. Takeover Panel, said Tuesday it is in preliminary talks with three new contenders after being approached with acquisition interest. The company has already attracted interest from Go Global, which is working with HMJ International Services Ltd. on a possible offer.

With the formalized process, companies in talks with French Connection are no longer subject to the 28-day deadline requiring a statement of whether or it intends to submit an offer. Go Global, which is still in discussions with the British retailer, will no longer be subject to its initial March 5 deadline.

Per that deadline, and before the launch of the formal sale process, French Connection was also in talks with Spotlight Brands, which was working in partnership with Gordon Brothers Int’l, neither of which plans to make an offer, the retailer said in a statement Tuesday.

The company said that formalizing the sale process does not guarantee that “an offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.”

Interested parties should direct inquiries to WH Ireland, its financial advisor, the retailer said. They would be required to commit into a non-disclosure agreement and standstill arrangement similar to those agreed upon by others before being permitted to participate in any talks.

French Connection said it also reserved the right to alter any part of the process and reject any approach by an interested party or end discussions at its discretion.

According to the most recent Dun & Bradstreet Hoovers profile for French Connection, the retailer generated $157.99 million in annual revenue for the 12-month period ended Jan. 31. French Connection posted half-year results for the six months ended July 31, 2020 that showed group revenue fell 53.1 percent to 23.9 million pounds ($33.4 million), stemming from coronavirus lockdowns and sagging wholesale demand.