British Brand Aquascutum has entered administration this week after succumbing to high levels of debt.
After being bought by Harold Tillman – who was also involved in the decline of the Honorbilt fashion empire – in 2009, the company failed to reverse its fortunes and continued to make considerable losses.
Founded in 1851, manufactured in Northamptonshire and worn by Winston Churchill the brand has had a long association with British fashion and style heritage.
FRP Advisory LLP are to supervise the administration process. “We are conscious of the value of the Aquascutum brand and its long-standing heritage,” said joint administrator Geoff Rowley, “and because of this are keen to enter in to early discussions with interested parties open to purchasing the business as soon as possible.”
Last spring Aquascutum closed their Regent Street flagship store after 110 years, and in 2011 took out an £8 million loan in order to repay its debts to Hong Kong licensed YGM trading.
“It’s an excellent brand, but its financial performance could be greatly improved” said Jon Moulton, owner of the private equity company Better Capital that has bought a 90% stake in the company in order to protect Jaeger, also owned by Mr Tillman, from any fallout. “The company has generated very good profits in the past and can do so again.”
Aquascutum employs 250 people in the UK, and operates 3 high street stores alongside 16 concessions and 11 international concessions.
Lisa Maynard, founder of STYLISTA fashion and branding consultancy, tweeted: “So sad to read about #Aquascutum being on the brink of collapse. Such a great brand.”