OVS, Partners Agree to Buy Charles Voegele for $57 Million

  • Swiss clothing retailer’s board supports 6.38 franc/share bid
  • Co. has been unprofitable since 2010, hurt by surge in franc

OVS SpA, Italy’s largest children’s clothing retailer, agreed to buy Charles Voegele Holding AG with two other investors for about 56 million francs ($57 million), ensuring the survival of the ailing Swiss chain after years of speculation about its future.

The offer price of 6.38 francs per share is 2.1 percent higher than Charles Voegele’s closing price on Sept. 16, the companies said in a statement on Monday. The stock rose as much as 3 percent to 6.44 francs in early trading in Zurich.

Charles Voegele’s board of directors is recommending to accept the offer made by Sempione Retail Ltd., an investor group composed of OVS, Aspen Trust Services Ltd., and Retails Investment SRL. The Pfaeffikon, Switzerland-based company has been unprofitable since 2010 and recently has been grappling with slower sales and the strong franc increasing garment costs.

The takeover ‘‘is the best solution Charles Voegele can get as the turnaround by its own still had a lot of uncertainties,” wrote Rene Weber, an analyst at Bank Vontobel in Zurich.

Local newspapers had been reporting about numerous potential takeover talks, including German apparel chain Adler Modemaerkte.

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