June 28, 2019 / 7:25 AM / 3 months ago

French Connection delays company sale plans as buyers circle

FILE PHOTO - A person walks past a French Connection store in London, Britain, 14 March, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

(Reuters) - French Connection (FCCN.L) on Friday pushed the date by which the British clothing retailer could be sold by three months to Sept. 17, with talks still ongoing with a number of interested parties.

French Connection, once known for its provocative FCUK brand of clothes and accessories, had said in October that it had begun talks with four interested parties regarding a sale of the company after launching a review.

The retailer, whose brands include its namesake French Connection, Great Plains and YMC, has struggled to differentiate itself from rivals such as Inditex’s (ITX.MC) Zara, which offers a greater variety of clothes at cheaper prices.

French Connection has been in the red for more than five years. It said last year that it was close to turning profitable, adding that it would consider resuming dividend payments when it did.

The retailer had earlier expected the strategic review and formal sale process to conclude during the first half of 2019.

“Discussions have progressed since then and are ongoing with a number of interested parties. As a result, the Board has extended the period for completing the Strategic Review and Formal Sale Process,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

French Connection, which was founded by Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Stephen Marks in 1972, had a market capitalization of 37.14 million pounds ($47.06 million) as on Thursday.

($1 = 0.7892 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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