LONDON — French Connection has sold its 75 percent stake in Toast, a brand of fashion and homeware basics, for 23.3 million pounds, to Bestseller, a privately held, family-owned clothing company based in Denmark.
Launched in the Nineties as a catalogue company by husband-and-wife team Jessica and James Seaton, Toast offers women’s and men’s wear, footwear and items for the home. French Connection had a 75 percent stake in Toast while the Seatons own the remaining 25 percent.
The Danish company currently has 20 brands including Jack Jones, Selected Femme/Homme and Mamalicious. These moderately priced contemporary labels offer fashion clothing and accessories for both women, men, teens and kids.
French Connection said the sale will enable it focus on its core retail, wholesale and licensing businesses. Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive of French Connection said that this is “great news” for Toast.
“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,” said Marks. “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.”
According to its preliminary results for the year ended Jan 31st, Toast generated 19 million pounds of revenue, compared to 16.7 million pounds for 2017. Toast currently operates 12 stores and has a wholesale deal with John Lewis.
Following the announcement, shares in French Connection rose 21.4 percent to 0.52 pence at 3:07 p.m. CET.