Dec 22, 2016
Sandro owner Ruyi said to be Aquascutum prospective buyer
Dec 22, 2016
UK heritage brand Aquascutum is to be bought for $120m, its owner, Hong Kong-based YGM Trading said Thursday. Sandro’s new owner, Shandong Ruyi Group, is thought to be the buyer.
YGM has not actually named the prospective purchaser but Bloomberg said it is most likely to be Shandong Ruyi. The acquisitive company this year also bought French premium labels Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot when it took over their parent company SCMP from KKR.
The firm is currently conducting due diligence, reports said, and hopes to tie up a deal within a few weeks. YGM is believed to be expecting the transaction to complete by the end of March, although there is still a chance that it may not happen.
YGM had said in its annual report that UK sales fell 16% in the half to September 30 and that it closed a number of stores, 15 of them in China and Taiwan, while opening one in Europe.
Since being acquired by YGM, Asia has been a key focus for Aquascutum with the brand now operating 146 stores and concessions, nearly 100 of them in mainland China.
Aquascutum has a long history having been founded in 1851 by a tailor who patented the first waterproof wool. It struggled in this century and was acquired by Harold Tillman who launched a turnaround strategy, trying to replicate the fashion-and-luxury-focused success of peer Burberry.
But this failed to reignite interest in the brand and the company went into administration four years ago. YGM had been its Asian licensee before buying it out of administration.
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