Bonmarche directors sell their shares

Three Bonmarche directors have sold their shares in the business to Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group billionaire Philip Day, who has made a £5.7m bid for the company.

Bonmarche sells clothes to fashion-conscious women over 50

Wakefield-based Bonmarche's chief executive Helen Connolly, finance director Stephen Alldridge and senior independent non-executive director Isobel Macpherson have all sold their stakes to Mr Day.

Mr Day now owns around 67 per cent of over 50's fashion chain Bonmarche and needs to reach 75 per cent to take it private.

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Ms Connolly sold 42,542 shares to Philip Day for just over £4,868 and Mr Alldridge sold 508,910 shares for almost £58,245.

Bonmarche facts and figures

Last Friday fund managers at Cavendish slammed the “incompetent” directors of Bonmarche, as they sold their stake in the company.

The asset management firm revealed it has offloaded its 10.8 per cent stake, selling more than five million shares at 11.4p each, the price proposed by Mr Day.It came a day after Mr Day’s holding company, Spectre, said it felt forced to close its offer for shares in the company, following a recent update which showed a decline in Bonmarche’s trading.The offer is open until July 12 and could see Mr Day take the company off the stock market if he gains more than three-quarters of the issued shares.

Cavendish had previously said Spectre’s offer was too low, but fund managers Paul Mumford and Nick Burchett said they had bailed out to avoid holding a stake in a delisted company.

Mr Mumford also said it was “disgraceful” that Bonmarche’s board had done a U-turn with regard to Spectre’s offer this week, recommending the takeover after previously rebuffing it.He said the debacle was down to “sheer incompetent management”.“They’ve caved in and they’ve said there’s no alternative,” he said.

“They’ve just sort of thrown in the towel. We’re heartily fed up of that and unfortunately decided to move on.”Fears for the future of Bonmarche emerged earlier last week as it updated the market on its trading performance and recommended Mr Day’s takeover.

Last Wednesday Bonmarche decided to back Mr Day's offer after poor trading in its first quarter.

In a U-turn on its previous rejection, the group recommended that shareholders accept the 11.4p a share offer tabled in April after a poor first quarter cast doubt over it meeting its full year profit forecasts.

The firm had previously said the offer "materially" undervalued the group, but the change of stance came after it said wet weather had compounded tough conditions in the clothing market.

Bonmarche cautioned that while it is possible that full year profits may hit forecasts, there is a "significant degree of uncertainty attached to this".It also revealed that its auditor may include a reference to the "uncertainty with regard to going concern" in full-year accounts due to the trading troubles and without any sign of improvement in revenues.