• Offer understood to be around £40m 
  • French Connection has been struggling recently
  • In March it reported falling sales and widening losses

The owner of Maplin Electronics and Pizza Hut is reportedly eyeing a bid for fashion retailer French Connection.

Private investor Rutland Partners, which also owns the Bernard Matthews turkey products business, is understood to be mulling an offer worth £40m for the high-street chain, The Sunday Times reported. 

French Connection has struggled in recent years. In March it reported falling full-year sales and widening losses. Pre-tax losses hit £3.5m in the year to January 31, from £1.6m the prior year. Globally, total sales dropped 8% to £164.2m. Online sales were flat, at 23% of total sales.

It also shrank its store estate around the world last year, with only its Toast and YMC brands left untouched.

North America suffered the most closures – US stores went from six to four and Canadian stores from seven to two. European French Connection store numbers edged down from 62 to 60.