Aquascutum goes into administration

 

Aquascutum, the 160-year-old British clothing retailer which has dressed Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, collapsed into administration today, jeopardising 250 jobs.

The business was bought by Jaeger's owner Harold Tillman and its chief executive Belinda Earl in 2009 but it continued to make "significant losses" despite their efforts to turn it around, according to administrators at FRP Advisory.

Joint administrator Geoff Rowley said he hoped there were parties interested in holding discussions over purchasing the business.

The administration move comes after Mr Tillman sold a majority stake yesterday in Jaeger, whose operations were tied in with those of Aquascutum.

Aquascutum operates three high street stores - at Westfield White City, Canary Wharf and Windsor - and has a further 16 concessions, including at Harrods. It runs its manufacturing base from a factory in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Mr Rowley said: "We are conscious of the value of the Aquascutum brand and its long-standing heritage and because of this are keen to enter into early discussions with interested parties open to purchasing the business as soon as possible."

Aquascutum also runs seven outlet stores and 11 concessions overseas.

The group's other concessions in the UK can be found in stores run by Austin Reed, Selfridges, House of Fraser, John Lewis and at Hoopers in Tunbridge Wells.

Aquascutum was founded in 1851 by tailor John Emary. It was named after the Latin for water shield after it developed the first waterproof wool.

In its early days it was best known for a style of trenchcoat worn during the First World War.

The business's clothes have been worn by Lady Thatcher, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.

Mr Tillman and Ms Earl bought Aquascutum in 2009 from Japanese trading house Renown following a year in which it made losses of around £24 million.

Over the last three years, shareholders invested around £30 million in a turnaround plan.

A statement from Aquascutum said today: "The senior management team have worked tirelessly to develop and build the Aquascutum brand.

"The challenging conditions in the UK, however, have unfortunately meant that the team have been unable to successfully turn the business around which has ultimately resulted in its administration.

"The board hopes that under FRP Advisory, the business will be disposed of successfully."

Ms Earl stepped down from her job as chief executive of Jaeger and Aquascutum last month with health problems.

Mr Tillman yesterday sold a 90% stake in Jaeger and all its secured debt to Better Capital, a private equity firm owned by British venture capitalist Jon Moulton, for £19.5 million.

It is understood the sale was to protect Jaeger from any fall-out from the collapse of Aquascutum.

Mr Tillman made his fortune in the rag trade, starting his career in the 1960s with wholesaler Lincroft Kilgour, where he later rose to managing director before floating it on the London Stock Exchange.

The south Londoner later added to his fortune by buying and selling UK Yves Saint Laurent distributor Marchpole.

PA

Sport
formula oneLive lap-by-lap coverage of championship decider
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
i100
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin