12 Jun 2020
Zeus Capital has advised Brigadier Acquisition Company on its take private of Moss Bros Group Plc in a £22.6m transaction.
The ultimate shareholders of Brigadier have extensive experience in the apparel industry with businesses in several global markets and hope to use their experience and contacts to improve the performance of Moss Bros as a privately-owned company.
Moss Bros is a heritage British formal wear retailer established in 1851. The firm has provided quality tailoring to generations of men, with in excess of 120 stores across the UK.
The transaction was complicated by the introduction of a nationwide UK lockdown and closure of retail stores due to COVID-19 approximately two weeks after announcement of the recommended acquisition.
Zeus Capital advised Brigadier on navigating the process of attempting to lapse the offer. Whilst Brigadier ultimately chose not to pursue this process beyond a first stage takeover panel ruling, the Zeus team demonstrated its ability to advise clients on the most complex issues in takeover code transactions in what was a landmark deal of its type.
The Zeus Capital team was led by Richard Hughes and Jamie Peel, and also included Dan Bate, Kieran Russell and James Edis.
This deal is the fifth that Zeus Capital has completed since the UK lockdown commenced, and also represents the fourth completed takeover code transaction that Zeus Capital has advised on in the last 12 months.
The advent of COVID-19 and the UK lockdown created both technical deal complexity and real business challenges for Moss Bros, but we are hopeful that with Brigadier’s support, a heritage UK high street brand can be saved and returned to profitability.
This deal is the latest in a series of completed public to private transactions for Zeus Capital, and has cemented our leading position in the mid-market for takeover deals. Our pipeline of similar deals is strong, with private equity interest in public companies increasing – we hope to continue our activity levels in this space with the support of the local PE community.
Director of Corporate Finance at Zeus Capital
Zeus Capital’s expert advice was crucial in guiding Brigadier and its shareholders through their first UK takeover transaction. Achieving announcement of our recommended offer on 12 March was an achievement in itself, but dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent request to lapse the offer brought into sharper focus the benefit of being advised by a firm with deep takeover expertise and a specialism in public company transactions.
Having now completed the acquisition we look forward to working with Moss Bros’ management team to stabilise and improve the performance of the business in a challenging retail environment.
Director of Brigadier Acquisition Company