May 2, 2012 5:11 pm

YGM agrees to buy Aquascutum

The Hong Kong-based owner of the Aquascutum brand in Asia is set to consolidate its control of the luxury British fashion label which collapsed into administration last month.

YGM Trading has entered into an exclusivity agreement with FRP Advisory, administrator of the classic clothing company, to acquire “the ongoing business and assets” for an undisclosed sum.

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These include 37 Aquascutum stores in Europe, including 26 in the UK, and the global brand rights. YGM Trading bought the rights to the Aquascutum name in Asia in 2009.

The exclusivity period will last until May 9 but FRP said a “financial commitment has been obtained,” and that “both parties are now focused on dealing with the necessary legal documentation to effect the sale”.

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.”

FRP said that it had received “significant interest” in Aquascutum, founded in 1851 as a raincoat maker, from “in excess of 70 interested parties” around the world. The deadline for bids passed last Friday.

However the future of its factory at Corby, which employed 115 people and was shut in April, remains unclear. FRP said expressions of interest for the facility had been received and more were expected, but no deadline has been set for a sale.

James Eden, who produces the Private White VC menswear line and was a rival bidder for the brand and factory, said he was “extremely disappointed” that Aquascutum would “no longer [be] under British ownership”. He did not rule out another attempt to acquire the Corby facility.

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