If you are no longer legally permitted to attend a stately function before the festive holidays a good place not to buy or hire the formal menswear not to go to it would be Moss Bros. This afternoon (Friday 27 November) KPMG were lined up to assist the charmingly passé gents retailer in the reduction of its rent payments and restructuring of its fixed cost base... caveat rentors (let the landlords beware).
Previously on NTI bulletins: one of our favourite stories of 2020 was reporting, in May, on Brigadier Acquisition seeking to cancel the deal purchasing Moss Bros a month after completing on it, by invoking a material adverse change clause, which gives a buyer the right to walk away from an acquisition if events occur that are detrimental to the target company. It was one of those day-after-the-night-before 'What have we DONE?' moments, when the owners of Crew Clothing realised it was no longer 1992 and they had made a terrible mistake even considering buying Moss Bros in a Scheme of Arrangement. Any British person who had ever walked down a high street in the past 20 years could have done a better job advising Brigadier than Zeus Capital, so it is as well they hardly charged any fees for the job, (no doubt).
With all of that behind them Brigadier have had time to enjoy the pandemic, its fallout, the cancellation of weddings, formal events, the closing down (twice) of the high street and virtually no business, hiring KPMG in September to advise on the restructuring of the business. The launched CVA proposal is intended to reduce the company's rents in a bid to protect the long-term future of the (can we call Moss Bros a 'fashion retailer'?). No further details have yet been issued, so everything else we now write is what is called a 'filler', giving you background on the business of Moss Bros and information about similar companies that have suffered a similar fate.
We will then write a paragraph about landlords, the hardship they have suffered during the Coro ... blah, blah, blah and take a shot at mentioning turnover-based rents. Finally, we will pull at your heart strings, mention that Moss Bros has 128 stores and employs 800 people and leave you in suspense, before asking you to click on a box that leads you to a link to pay for a subscription to our news service that hasn't really done its job.
Now we're done ...