Harold Tillman calls for US-style bankruptcy laws

 

Furious former Jaeger chairman Harold Tillman will meet with ministers to demand Britain adopt US-style bankruptcy laws after accusing bankers of cutting the business out from under him.

Tillman is to meet Sajid Javid, financial secretary to the Treasury, after blaming Lloyds Banking Group for his losing control of fashion house Jaeger after a difficult autumn and winter in 2011 hit sales.

He also said he was considering private prosecutions of some of those involved. The debt was sold to Jon Moulton’s Better Capital over the Easter weekend that year, pushing the business into administration. Better Capital restructured the fashion house, which continues to trade as part of the private equity firm’s portfolio.

Tillman will tell Javid British companies should be able to seek protection from creditors as in US Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

He added: “What happens is you are rendered powerless, out of work, investment in your business and your life is taken away and the vultures come along and pick up whatever they can from the administrators.

“There are businesses that could be trading on the High Street now if we had something like US style Chapter 11.” He was on holiday at the time of the Jaeger debt sale but says he had arrangements in place that could have paid off the debt.

A Lloyds spokesman said: “Whenever a customer is in financial difficulty, the group tries to support the customer. Better Capital was brought into this transaction by the board of Jaeger Group.

The sale of the debt was consented to by the board. Better Capital’s investment — and doing so in a short time frame — secured the company’s financial future, safeguarding many hundreds of jobs.”

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