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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Baugur adds to fashion portfolio
Jane Norman store
Baugur's investment may help Jane Norman to expand in Europe
Iceland's Baugur Group has taken a 40% stake in UK fashion retailer Jane Norman as part of a consortium buying the store chain for 117.4m ($205m).

Baugur said recently it would slow its UK expansion pending the trial of its chief executive Jon Asgeir Johannesson on fraud charges in Iceland.

Charges have been brought against Mr Johannesson and four others although Baugur itself has not been accused.

Baugur's UK assets include Hamleys toy store, Big Food Group and Goldsmith's.

Taking stock

The company was forced to pull out of the race to buy Somerfield last month, withdrawing from a consortium which wants to buy the supermarket group.

Baugur's talks with Jane Norman pre-dated its decision to put major UK acquisitions on hold.

Baugur has joined forces with Kaupthing, Iceland's largest bank, to take control of Jane Norman, with each taking a stake of about 40%.

The retailer's management will retain a 20% stake in the business.

BAUGUR'S UK BUSINESSES
Big Food Group
Hamley's
Goldsmith's
Oasis Stores
Karen Millen
Whistles
Coast
Booker
Julian Graves
Shoe Studio
MK One

The womenswear chain operates 96 stores across the country and will continue to trade independently.

The company made profits of 14.3m last year on sales of 70m.

Baugur already has an extensive fashion retail portfolio in the UK, owning Oasis Stores, Karen Millen, Coast and Whistles.

Pending trial

Mr Johannesson and four others are expected to stand trial in the autumn.

The charges brought against them relate to alleged breaches of accountancy rules.

Baugur has offered its full support to Mr Johannesson, who has denied the charges.

It has accused the police of a flawed investigation and is suing for damages, claiming disruption from the inquiry prevented it from buying fashion chain Arcadia in 2002.




SEE ALSO:
Baugur drops Somerfield bid plans
14 Jul 05 |  Business
Baugur forced to slow expansion
10 Jul 05 |  Business
Baugur Interview
17 Jun 05 |  Working Lunch


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