Gant sold to Swiss chain

Swedish fashion brand Gant has been bought by Swiss company Maus Frères following a takeover battle that started last month.

Maus Frères, which owns store chains in Switzerland and which also makes Lacoste clothing, has acquired 95.6 percent of the shares and voting rights in Gant through its Procastor subsidiary. Among those to have sold are Gant’s chairman Lennart Björk, who initially opposed the bid, and a number of the brand’s so-called master franchise owners.

“For me, it has been paramount to give Gant a robust and long-term ownership structure in order to continue to build on the strategy and values of the company. With a majority of the shares, Maus Frères is such an owner,” Björk said in a statement on Thursday.

Björk will remain chairman of Gant under the new owners.

Maus Frères launched a hostile bid for Gant in December, but said at the time that they hoped to get approval of Gant board members and shareholders for the deal. The Swiss company had offered 310 kronor per share, but Björk and the franchise owners were paid 320 kronor per share for their holdings in the fashion firm.

The Swiss company has said it wants to develop Gant in new markets, particularly North America.

“We are very pleased to have been able to come to an agreement with Lennart Björk and all of the other of Gant’s major shareholders which puts an end to a period of uncertainty and paves the way for future further development of Gant around the world,” said Didier Maus, chairman of Maus Frères.