Potential buyer for Aquascutum


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The Independent Online

The future of collapsed clothing retailer Aquascutum may be decided in the next week after administrators entered exclusive talks with a potential buyer.

The 160-year-old firm, which dressed Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, fell into administration last month despite efforts by owner Harold Tillman to turn it around.

FRP Advisory said it had entered an exclusivity agreement with a subsidiary of YGM Trading, the Hong Kong-listed owner of the brand across Asia, over a potential sale to complete by 9 May.

Meanwhile, FRP are continuing negotiations to secure a buyer for Aquascutum's closed factory in Corby - where the company has had a presence for more than 100 years.

Aquascutum has three high street stores - at Westfield White City, Canary Wharf and Windsor - and a further 16 concessions, including at Harrods, which continue to operate as normal.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator at FRP, said: "The joint administrators have been very encouraged by the significant interest shown in the business over the last two weeks and have chosen to proceed with the offer that delivers the best outcome for the creditors of Aquascutum."

Some 70 parties from around the world expressed interest in the business, FRP said.

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.