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Under Armour in talks to buy French Connection London flagship – reports

Under Armour has its eye on making a dramatic introduction to London. The US athletic sportswear is in talks to take over French Connection’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, according to reports.

Sources have revealed that the struggling UK fashion retailer had been looking to offload the building, which has a lease expiry date of 2025, for around £10m but has recently reduced to £5m.

It is understood that Under Armour is in talks to take on the Oxford Street lease, making its statement entrance to the UK after operating concessions.

Gatemore Capital Management joined forces with OTK and Zoar Invest – who together own 15% of French Connection – to push for an overhaul of French Connection’s board and urgent measures to revive the chain. Gatemore has also urged French Connection to make more of its licensing business, which generated £7m sales last year.

French Connection has been closing unprofitable stores and now operates 39 units in the UK, down from 58 two years ago. It is understood that another five to eight stores are due to shutter imminently. Pre-tax losses at the retailer grew last year to £3.5m from £1.6m.

French Connection and Under Armour declined to comment.


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