Philip Day has launched a takeover bid for Bonmarché after swooping on more than half of the embattled retailer’s shares.
Day, who runs Edinburgh Woollen Mill, has lodged an offer of 11.45p per share through his Dubai-based Spectre Holdings group. The bid values the business at £5.7m.
Spectre Holdings submitted the mandatory bid this morning after snapping up 52.4% of Bonmarché’s shares.
Under Takeover Code rules, any shareholder with a stake of more than 30% is required to make a full takeover offer for the business.
Bonmarché said its directors were considering the offer, but has advised its shareholders to take no action at this stage.
Bonmarché’s share price has plummeted from 122.5p last July to just 15.1p when markets opened this morning.
The fashion chain has issued three profit warnings in the past six months as it battles to restore its fortunes.
It expects to post a loss of between £5m and £6m after suffering “significantly weaker” trading in March.
Spectre said: “Against the backdrop of the significant decline in Bonmarché’s profitability, Spectre believes it is well positioned to provide advice, guidance and support to secure the long term future of the Bonmarché business, its stores and employees.
“The owner of Spectre, Philip Day, has a successful track record within the retail sector, especially in turnaround and distressed situations.”
Spectre said its intention was “to ensure the long-term future of the Bonmarché business”, but added that it would “undertake a detailed review with the involvement of Bonmarché’s existing management of all material aspects of the business and its operations”.
It said that the review was likely to spark a “material reduction in headcount” across the business.
Since leading a management buyout of Edinburgh Wollen Mill in 2002, Day has expanded the retailer’s portfolio of high street names, acquiring Austin Reed, Jaeger, Country Casuals, Jacques Vert and Peacocks.
Peacocks owned Bonmarché until early 2012 when it sold the business to Sun European Partners in a pre-pack administration deal.