London - Heritage brand Burberry is trying to find out the identity of a mystery investor who has built up almost a 5 percent stake in the luxury brand, building speculation of a potential takeover bid.

The British designer label has asked HSBC, which is listed as the custodian of the stake, to reveal the identity of its client, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The source close to the company also added that the brand had spoken its financial advisers Robey Warshaw and Morgan Stanley about the growing stake, which broke a 5 percent barrier recently but was now just below the threshold.

Analysts have already began speculating that the mystery shareholder could be a rival retailer, with suggestions including luxury groups such as LVMH or other private equity investors, who could be trying to build up a stake before a potential takeover offer.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, market analyst at London Capital Group, said: “Burberry could be an interesting target for activists looking to buy the famous luxury brand for a relatively cheap price, to consolidate business and management and to enhance revenues.

“If Burberry’s sales in China dropped recently, there is still a considerable market to be conquered with a solid business model.”

- Source: Fashion United        Photo: Burberry and