PARIS More than 55 percent of Gant’s shareholders have rejected a hostile bid by Maus Frères SA, the Swiss retail group that owns the Lacoste brand, executives said Monday.


Less than a week ago, Maus Frères launched a 5.2 billion Swedish kronor, or $810.2 million, bid to take over the Swedish sportswear firm that operates 310 stores.


“Representing the majority of the group of shareholders, we wanted to send a strong message that we will not accept this offer,” said Pedro Silva, a 10 percent stakeholder in Gant and chief executive officer of Delveste, the franchisee for Gant in Portugal, Brazil and Angola. “We think that the potential and growth of the brand has only scratched the surface, especially in markets such as the U.K., Germany and Spain. We see tremendous potential in the North American market, as well as in India and China, where we’ve only dipped our toe in the water. We believe the future of Gant depends on our independence.” 


For more, see Tuesday’s issue of WWD.