McCarthy told Retail Week last week that “some family interests were not in line with the good of the business”.
Gee – a member of the family that founded Cecil Gee, which merged with Moss Bros – said: “I was disappointed with Don’s reference to the family, but was pleased that his strategy was actually in perfect alignment with the strategy document that the board was presented with in January by Philip Mountford.”
Gee questioned McCarthy’s suggestion that Moss Bros could be introduced at House of Fraser stores. Gee said: “Negotiations for Moss Bros to go into House of Fraser have been dragging on for 18 months. I can only assume from Don’s comment that the House of Fraser door will be shut if Baugur fails to take over Moss Bros,” he said.
Gee’s comments are the latest phase in a ferocious war of words that has erupted over Moss Bros since Baugur – of which McCarthy is a board member – made an indicative offer valuing the retailer at£40 million last week.
Moss Bros chairman Keith Hamill also weighed in. He said that negative comments made by family members since Baugur made its move were “bizarre” and “damaging”. He warned that, if the bid fails, Baugur may act to remove Gee and founding family representative Mark Bernstein from the board.
Hamill was astounded by the interest that the ongoing battle had aroused. “It shows that the brand name must have something,” he said. “It is a good company with good brands, but this is a tough market and you would have to be well organised to come into this,” he warned.
* Suit supplier BMB is understood to be interested in buying menswear retailer SRG.