The founder of French Connection has hoisted a “for sale” sign over the business, causing the fashion chain’s share price to soar.

The high street retailer announced that it was weighing a potential sale and was reviewing its “strategic options”, as it moved to clarify weekend speculation.

The prospect of a new owner sent shares rocketing 45pc in morning trading, before paring gains to trade 25pc ahead at 53.5p in the afternoon.

Such a move would see founder-chief executive Stephen Marks offload his 41.6pc stake, bringing to a close nearly 50 years in charge of the business.

French Connection has endured mixed fortunes under Marks.

His foray into fashion was born out of disappointment.


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