Mosaic to delist
Baugur is planning to privatise Mosaic Fashions, 12 months after it merged with Rubicon Retail.

Sources close to the company said that Baugur was investigating delisting the fashion super-group from the Icelandic stock exchange to enable it to complete the integration of the Mosaic and Rubicon businesses away from the glare of investors and analysts.

The merger of the two businesses last June to create a fashion group with sales of£850 million has not gone as smoothly as shareholder Baugur and Mosaic chief executive Derek Lovelock had hoped.

Last week, the group reported sales up 5 per cent to£853.3 million for the year to January 27, but EBITDA fell 13 per cent to£92.5 million. Sales at Mosaic's core chain Oasis dipped 3 per cent over the period and sales at its Shoe Studio chain slid 8 per cent.

Mosaic said that it had got the trends wrong and been left with too much stock in milder weather. However, sources close to the company told Retail Week that the results also reflected the difficulty that Mosaic's management had had integrating its six chains - Oasis, Warehouse, Principles, Karen Millen, Whistles and Shoe Studio.

Baugur floated Mosaic on ICEX in 2005. At the time of the listing, Baugur retained a 36.8 per cent stake in the business. Its shareholding is not thought to have fluctuated much since, but Baugur has made no public statement as to its interest.

Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which regularly works with Baugur on its private equity deals, also owns a significant stake.

As Retail Week went to press, Mosaic's shares were trading at ISK16.15 (13p). Its market cap was ISK46.8 billion (£368.9 million).

A source close to Baugur said: 'Baugur is always looking at ways to help its companies perform best financially and Mosaic is always open to ideas.'

Another private equity source said the long-term goal was to refloat Mosaic on the London Stock Exchange in three years. He added: 'The Icelandic float was only ever about Baugur making a statement in its own country. To be listed in Iceland makes no sense for Mosaic as a business and is not conducive to it.'

Both Baugur and Mosaic declined to comment.