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Activist investor with a stake in Adidas wants to invest in Hugo Boss: report
Posted on Friday, 17 February 2017 14:16
Shares in Hugo Boss closed up 6.6 per cent yesterday after a German magazine suggested Albert Frere, Belgian’s richest man, picked up a stake and plans to make further investments in the branded retailer.

According to Manager Magazin, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), the activist investor’s acquisition vehicle, has taken a 3.0 per cent interest in the Metzingen-headquartered firm.

However, an announcement or filing is yet to be made and the companies did not want to comment on the situation when contacted by the local media output.

Frere, which has been an investor in sporting apparel group Adidas since 2015, is also planning further acquisitions to increase its stake in Hugo Boss, which has been focused on a restructuring after severe price drops and a change in management.

The company appointed financial executive Mark Langer as chief executive last year after his predecessor Claus-Dietrich Lahrs stepped down following a series of profit warnings.

Langer has announced plans to try and revive the brand by cutting back on clothing stores and focusing on its core menswear business.

Hugo Boss is billed as Germany’s largest fashion retailer and is known for its range of premium suits.

A spokeswoman for the company told Reuters that no regulatory filing regarding an approach or investment has been made.

Under security laws in Germany an investor has to declare its interest if it reaches certain thresholds, the lowest being 3.0 per cent.

Hugo Boss is set to release fiscal 2016 earnings on 9th March.

GBL has a good relationship with Hugo Boss’ largest shareholder the Marzotto family, which owns a 10.0 per cent stake, Reuters observed.

The two sold Italian sneaker maker Golden Goose to private equity firm Carlyle for EUR 450.00 million, in the largest deal targeting an apparel manufacturer to have been announced globally so far this year, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

Companies in the industry, particularly brick and mortar businesses, have been frequently targeted as of late with consumers favouring discount retailers and online platforms.

Earlier today US-based designer Kate Spade announced it was reviewing strategic options amid a challenging retail environment.

© Zephus Ltd