Laura Ashley and Moss Bros go their separate ways

Laura Ashley has said goodbye to Moss Bros, disposing of its entire holding in the suit sellers and raising £8m.

The womenswear and home furnishings store started building up its stake in 2008, which sparked talks of a possible takeover, but a bid never came to fruition.

Laura Ashley is taking advantage of Moss Bros' strong performance over Christmas - the store saw a 13 per cent rise in underlying sales in the five weeks to 11 January, pushing up its share price.

The £8m from the sale will be used to "enhance the financial position of Laura Ashley and for additional working capital", it said.

From the statement:

Laura Ashley Holdings announces that on 14 January 2014 Bagleys Investments Limited, a company 100 per cent owned by Laura Ashley, disposed of its entire holding of 9,499,937 shares in Moss Bros Group plc at a price of 84 pence per share.

Shares in Laura Ashley are currently trading up over three per cent at 25p, while Moss Bros is up over five per cent at 95p.