Takeover talk as Ahmed raises Moss Bros stake

Fashion millionaire Shami Ahmed will further build his stake in menswear group Moss Bros, sparking speculation that he may make a renewed bid for the business.

By Wednesday, Joe Bloggs tycoon Ahmed had upped his stake from 6 per cent to 9 per cent. At that point he held 8.2 million shares, through Cantor Fitzgerald Europe. He is likely to break the 10 per cent barrier today.

Once Ahmed's stake exceeds 10 per cent he could technically block other bidders, as they would need his approval to proceed. Ahmed is one of the biggest individual shareholders. Karen Millen's Kevin Stanford last month upped his stake and is understood now to own 9.1 per cent of the business.

Ahmed has been interested in Moss Bros for some time and last year the retailer rejected a potential takeover bid from him.

'It (Moss Bros) is vulnerable because although it's showing better figures the share price is falling,' said one source close to the business.

Observers believe he will continue to increase his stake in the store group over the coming days, but some think this buying represents a straight investment rather than indicating a likely bid.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner rejected the idea that a bid for Moss Bros is imminent. 'I suspect Shami has given up on the idea of taking it over and has seen that the management are doing rather well,' he said. 'The family seem supportive of what Adrian Wright is doing.'