Brigadier's Moss Bros takeover retraction plea rejected

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The UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers recently blocked Crew Clothing’s parent Brigadier Acquisition Company’s attempt to retract its £22.6-million takeover bid for Moss Bros. The firm had lodged a submission with the Panel last month to retract its takeover offer made in March, citing the ‘material adverse change in conditions’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Panel is an independent body, established in 1968, whose main functions are to issue and administer the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers and to supervise and regulate takeovers and other matters to which the Code applies. Its central objective is to ensure fair treatment for all shareholders in takeover bids.

The Panel ruled that Brigadier Acquisition Company should not be permitted to invoke any of the relevant conditions in relation to its acquisition of Moss Bros. It has now offered Brigadier a short period to decide whether it wishes to request a review of the ruling, according to British media reports.

On March 12, Brigadier, which is majority-owned by Regiment, which is itself controlled by Menoshi ‘Michael’ Shina, the owner of Crew Clothing, agreed to buy Moss Bros for 22 pence per share. The deal followed widening losses at Moss Bros amid an already tough retail environment.

Since then, the pandemic forced all non-essential retailers in the United Kingdom to shut as part of a nationwide lockdown. The acquisition was expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.