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Harold Tillman reported to be bidding to buy back Jaeger

Lauretta Roberts
06 March 2017

Retail entrepreneur Harold Tillman CBE is reported to be making a bid to buy back Jaeger, the heritage fashion brand he owned between 2003 and 2012.

Current owner, the private equity house Better Capital, has hired restructuring expert AlixPartners to explore a sale of the business it acquired from Tillman five years ago for £19.5m.

According to The Telegraph first round bids for the business are due in within the next couple of weeks from interest parties and Tillman is among them. The Industry has contacted Tillman to verify the claims.

Better Capital has written down the value of the business to around £30m but had previously hoped to make £40m from an earlier attempt to sell it, which was abandoned during difficult trading.

Tillman had acquired Jaeger from entrepreneur Richard Thompson who himself had acquired it just weeks before from Coats PLC for £1. He teamed up with Belinda Earl, now at Marks & Spencer, to put the brand back on the map and it showed at London Fashion Week while Tillman was chairman of the British Fashion Council.

Jaeger was founded in 1884 by British businessman Lewis Tomalin. It went on to achieve a Royal Warrant and in 1935 opened its flagship store on London's Regent Street. It has endured a tumultuous time since it was acquired by Better Capital, owned by Jon Moulton, and in 2015 it announced it was closing its Regent Street store, which is now occupied by US giant Coach.

However towards the end of last year it revamped its brand identity and opened a new store in Marylebone to add to its existing portfolio of 28 stores.

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