Royal outfitter Hackett sold to Spanish investment bank

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The Independent Online

Hackett, the archetypal gentleman's outfitter, was sold to a Spanish investment bank yesterday by Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods giant.

Hackett, the archetypal gentleman's outfitter, was sold to a Spanish investment bank yesterday by Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods giant.

The label, which has dressed royals and is promoted by the England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, was put up for sale more than 18 months ago.

Analysts said the sale could trigger further disposals of other non-core brands such as Purdey, the rifle maker, and Old England, a Paris-based clothes store. Richemont is best known for its vast portfolio of luxury watch brands such as Cartier, Dunhill and Piaget.

Torreal, a Spanish investment company, acquired Hackett for an undisclosed sum. Richemont said the transaction would have "no material impact" on its balance sheet, cash flow or results for the year to March 2006. It declined to comment further until it reports results next week.

Jeremy Hackett, the label's chairman and founder, said: "They [Torreal] have seen the possibilities for Hackett in Spain." He will remain as the group's chairman.

Mr Hackett created Hackett 21 years ago in partnership with Ashley Lloyd-Jennings as an outlet for the treasures the pair unearthed in house clearances and antiques markets. Mr Hackett changed tack and started selling new clothing and accessories designed to reflect a strong British heritage. It has 27 stores across the UK, France, Spain and Portugal and a wholesaling deal in Italy.

Hackett scraped into the black with a pre-tax profit of £131,000 in the year to March 2004 on sales of £21.6m, the most recent figures available.

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