Laura Ashley has boosted its stake in menswear retailer Moss Bros by buying a further 625,000 shares for 47p each, giving it more than 7 million shares in total.

Yesterday’s transaction, which was handled by Laura Ashley’s investment subsidiary Bagleys Investments, increases its shareholding in Moss Bros to 7.45 per cent.

News of the deal will fuel speculation that Laura Ashley is planning a bid for the menswear chain. Last month, the women’s retailer increased its stake in Moss Bros from 6.3 per cent to 6.6 per cent.

Last week, Icelandic retail group Baugur said it was deciding whether or not to make a 42p-a-share offer for Moss Bros.

Moss Bros posted a pre-tax loss of£1.4 million for the year to January 26.