French Connection pressured to change management, FCUK logo
today Aug 1, 2016
A U.S. activist investor wants French Connection to management changes on the on the back of "disappointing" performance in recent years, reported the Financial Times.
US hedge fund Gatemore Capital Management, which has acquired an 8 percent stake in the UK apparel retailer, wrote to the board of French Connection last week calling the company’s performance in recent years “disappointing”.
In March this year, French Connection reported the appointment of two new directors to its board: Lee Williams to the role of Group Finance Director, left vacant by Adam Castleton in July 2015; and Christos Angelides as Independent Non-Executive Director. The news landed as the brand posted annual losses had increased nearly fivefold in fiscal 2015.
Via the letter, Gatemore urged Stephen Marks, French Connection chairman and chief executive, to give up his dual role, and said that non-executive directors Dean Murray and Claire Kent should step down, the Sunday Times first reported.
According to the FT, Gatemore also called for French Connection to get rid of its FCUK logo, saying that it was no longer “aspirational” for customers, and said that the company needed to cut back on its product ranges and speed up the closure of certain stores.
French Connection responded in a statement saying, "We have no public comment to make on their contents beyond saying that while we agree that the performance of the group needs to improve and we are working to deliver a strategic plan to do this, we disagree with many of the assertions contained within these communications.”
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