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French Connection Sells for $39.5 Million

French Connection agreed to a 29 million pound ($39.5 million) takeover.

The one-popular company received the offer last month from a consortium that includes CEO Stephen Marks, who founded the chain in 1972, and Apinder Singh Ghura. As French Connection’s two largest shareholders, respectively, the duo owns about two-thirds of the company, which has been struggling to secure a buyer since 2019.

Takeover talks began in February after Frasers Group’s exited its 24.9 percent stake in the company. French Connection said it had received separate “approaches.” Spotlight Brands was working with Gordon Brothers Int’l LLC, and Go Global Retail strategized in concert with HMJ International Services.

Known for its provocative “FCUK” acronym, the British retailer once was the go-to chain for fashion-forward apparel. Lately it’s fielded criticism for being overly pricey.

The U.K.-based retailer once had multiple stores across the U.K., Europe, the U.K. and Canada. About 75 percent of its stores in Manhattan began closing around 2010. That was about the same time when the brand started to lose profitability. Market sources said the brand hasn’t been profitable for over a decade.

Its customers are typically between ages 18 to 35, and the company designs and produces its branded fashion offerings for men, women and children.

In addition to company-owned retail doors, French Connection also operates “concession” spaces within department stores, and it has granted franchise and licensing rights to third parties for the operation of stores in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.