French Connection shareholders have backed a £29m takeover deal to save the struggling fashion brand.

A consortium led by Newcastle businessman Apinder Singh Ghura, who bought a 25% stake in the retailer from Mike Ashley in February, along with business partner Amarjit Singh Grewal and textiles company KJR Brothers, is set to buy French Connection.

Under the new agreement, chair, chief executive and co-founder Stephen Marks will sell his 42% stake in the business for £12m.

The move will see French Connection back in private hands for the first time since 1983.

The deal requires final court approval, with shares to cease trading on November 5, and the new owners are expected to take over the business on November 8.

The consortium, which also co-owns fashion brand Bench, is tasked with reviving French Connection following a string of pre-tax losses since 2012, exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic.

Ghura said: “We are delighted with the strong support for the recommended acquisition shown in this morning’s shareholder vote. 

“We look forward to working with French Connection’s management to execute and implement our strategic plans to facilitate the future growth and profitability of the business.

“We must also pay tribute to French Connection founder Stephen Marks for his support during the acquisition process.”

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