Retail news round-up on April 14, 2014: Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing eyes bid for Cath Kidston, Morrisons chairman faces investor pressure to step down, House of Fraser could open up to 50 stores in China and more

Uniqlo owner Fast retailing eyes Cath Kidson

Fast Retailing, the Japanese clothing company behind Uniqlo, could snap up British bag, fashion and wallpaper retailer Cath Kidston, The Telegraph reported. It is understood that Fast Retailing is in talks about a potential takeover of the business famed for its retro floral accessories design. Meanwhile, L Capital, the private-equity firm sponsored by luxury goods group LVMH, is also believed to have initiated bid discussions. US private equity firm TA Associates has put Cath Kidson up for sale in a deal that is expected to fetch the chain £250m.

Morrisons chairman Ian Gibson faces pressure to step down

UK supermarket group Wm Morrison’s chairman Sir Ian Gibson has come under investor pressure to step down from the post, The Sunday Times reported. Two top 10 shareholders said they wanted to see motor industry veteran Gibson replaced by a retail grandee who could get a grip on the grocer’s performance. City sources said candidates could include former Carphone Warehouse chairman John Gildersleeve and J Sainsbury’s senior independent director John McAdam.

House of Fraser could open up to 50 Chinese stores

It has emerged that UK department store chain House of Fraser may open as many as 50 outlets in China as it is bought by conglomerate Sanpower Group, The Telegraph reported. The Chinese group has bought an 89% stake in Highland Group Holdings, parent company to House of Fraser, for an enterprise value of about £480m. It is believed that as many as 50 Chinese House of Fraser shops could eventually be opened, with the company reportedly intending to use the name ‘Oriental Fraser’ for the new stores. An initial 20 stores are reportedly planned.

Investors in Tesco identify candidates to succeed chief executive Philip Clarke

Tesco investors are understood to have identified former Dixons chief executive John Browett and the head of Unilever’s personal care business Dave Lewis as potential replacement candidates to chief executive Philip Clarke, if the retailer continues to struggle in the UK. One City analyst, who asked not to be named, said there were ‘four or five people in the frame’ to succeed Clarke, including Browett and Lewis.

Co-op’s boardroom director Munir Malik suspended

Co-operative Group’s boardroom director Munir Malik has been suspended for erroneously claiming to be a chartered accountant, The Guardian reported. The suspension of Malik, who is also a Labour councillor in the London borough of Bexley, is thought to have taken place some time ago but the revelation is the latest twist in the boardroom saga at the troubled chain of supermarkets, funeral homes and pharmacies. He is said to have been struck off after being declared bankrupt. Malik is now the subject of an international investigation