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Clothing & Shoes

Laura Ashley faces £20m takeover bid

Struggling retail company Laura Ashley could be bought out by investment firm Flacks Group, it has been confirmed.

The investment company released a statement in response to speculative media reports, which suggested there would be a possible buyout of the retailer.

Laura Ashley denied the claims on Monday 25 February saying it could confirm there were no bids for the company.

Andrew Khoo, chairman of Laura Ashley, said: “As far as I am concerned, there is no takeover bid because there has been no approach whatsoever. If and when an approach is made, the board will discharge its duties as always and assess it on its relative merits.

“I would however like to state for the record that as major shareholders of Laura Ashley, we have no intention of divesting our shareholding. Whilst I understand why potential parties would think we are significantly undervalued, I have complete confidence that we will be able to grow profitably and in a sustainable manner so as to create long term value for our shareholders.”

He added: “We remain just as committed and passionate about this well loved brand as when we first decided to invest in Laura Ashley over 20 years ago.”

However, in Flacks Group’s statement which was released later that day, it said it was in the “preliminary stages of evaluating a possible transaction” which would be valued at a “final” price of approximately £20m. The firm said: “There can be no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made for the company. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

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