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Press releases

7 December 2010

Maxeda to sell M&S Mode to Excellent Retail Brands group

Maxeda Retail Group B.V. (‘Maxeda’) today announces that it has reached agreement on the conditional sale of M&S Mode to Excellent Retail Brands group (‘ERB’). The transaction will be subject to a request for advice from the works councils and will be discussed with the trade unions involved. It also requires approval from the relevant competition authorities. The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2011.

The boards of Maxeda and M&S Mode are convinced that ERB is the right partner to support M&S Mode’s strategy of growth and profitability. The decision on the conditional sale is the result of a comprehensive review of options – in which the interests of all stakeholders have been taken into account.

M&S Mode is a pan European player in the dynamic ladies wear market, and has an international network of 417 stores. M&S Mode is highly appreciated by its core customers and the proud owner of a best-in-class fast fashion supply chain. With support from Maxeda, M&S Mode has strengthened the brand image and successfully restructured its supply chain and logistics. The consolidation of distribution centres into one outsourced facility has resulted in structural cost savings.

ERB owns a number of successful fashion formats - Cool Cat, America Today and Wonder Woman. It has extensive knowledge and experience in the European retail market. It has a successful track record in acquiring and expanding retail formats, such as Amici and America Today. The formats are independent companies and serve customers in the Benelux, France and Italy. The formats all have a strong identity in young fashion, starting at the age of 6 with Cool Cat Junior to students and young professionals with America Today and Wonder Woman. ERB has a strong growth ambition for its current formats, but is also actively looking to add new retail formats serving other customer groups in Europe. M&S Mode perfectly fits in this ambition.

Phil Auld, CEO of M&S Mode: “M&S Mode is a prominent high street specialist retailer focused on offering fast fashion for a wide range of sizes. I am very proud of what all M&S Mode employees have achieved in the past few years. We have been working very hard to transform M&S Mode into a leading fast fashion retailer offering great value for money. I am convinced that we can accelerate our future growth together with the other retailers in ERB.”

Roland Kahn, CEO of Excellent Retail Brands and founder of the group: "Retail is all about people; it starts with the millions of customers, thousands of employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. The ERB formats share with M&S Mode their passion to serve the customer. The ERB employees, managers and directors all warmly welcome our new colleagues from M&S Mode. We are convinced that by joining forces and sharing best practices, all formats will all be able to serve their respective customer groups even better, which will allow them to expand their success.”

Tony DeNunzio, Executive Chairman of Maxeda: “Over the past few years, we have successfully implemented key initiatives which have resulted in high customer satisfaction across all categories. M&S Mode is now a pan European retailer, specialised in women’s apparel in a wide range of sizes and repositioned for future growth and improved profitability. I am very happy to announce this conditional sale to ERB, a partner that has the knowledge and network to further position M&S Mode as a truly international brand.”

Over the past few years, Maxeda has transformed the fashion formats and created better businesses with strong market positions. During the strategic review, Maxeda explored individual routes for each fashion format, which will lead to excellent, dedicated new owners. Each fashion format is now well positioned for the future with the right strategic partner. This agreement on the conditional sale of M&S Mode is one of the final steps in the successful completion of the strategic review of the Fashion Group.

Maxeda DIY will continue to support and invest in the DIY Group, making Praxis, Formido, Brico and Brico Plan-It more successful and positioning Maxeda DIY as a modern integrated and marketleading Benelux business.


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