French Connection sells Toast brand
French Connection has announced plans to sell its Toast fashion and homewares brand for £23.3 million.
Along with Toast founders Jamie and Jessica Seaton, the fashion retailer is selling the brand to Bestseller.
French Connection owns 75% of the brand while the Seatons own 25% of the issued share capital of Toast.
The retailer said the disposal will enable the company to increase its focus on the French Connection brand in its core retail, wholesale and licensing businesses. The funds raised will be used to support French Connection’s continued turnaround and return to profitability.
The deal, which is subject to French Connection shareholder approval, is expected to complete by the end of this month.
In the year to 31 January, Toast generated £19 million of revenue compared with £16.7 million in the previous year. Meanwhile, pre-tax underlying operating profit was £1.5 million compared to a previous £1.1 million.
With headquarters in London, Toast sells its products online, through a network of twelve retail stores and via John Lewis.
Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive of French Connection, said: “This is great news for Toast and its highly talented team. Toast is a very strong brand and I have no doubt that the team will continue to develop it further under Bestseller’s ownership and Suzie’s continued leadership.
“The price achieved for Toast reflects the strength of the brand and the business we have built behind it. French Connection will use the transaction proceeds to underpin its core business, allowing us to focus on our priority of returning to sustainable profitability and growth.
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