Marks & Spencer is in the process of finalising a deal to acquire heritage fashion brand Jaeger from Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM), it has been reported.
EWM placed Jaeger into administration last November and M&S was one of the names immediately linked with a potential purchase of the brand, which can trace its roots back to the 1880s.
According to Sky News, the deal could be announced imminently and would include the purchase of Jaeger’s brand and stock but not its stores.
The deal would fit with M&S’s stated aim to move further. into the sale of third party brands. Last year. M&S was linked to the purchase of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret’s UK arm but that eventually went to Next. In October last year M&S signed a deal with eco-fashion brand Nobody’s Child to sell it online.
It is not thought that M&S is interested in any of the other EWM brands, which include Austin Reed, Jacques Vert and value fashion chain Peacocks, which remain in administration.
Marks & Spencer was linked with the potential purchase of some of the Arcadia brands but, according to recent reports, is not through to be a frontrunner.
Jaeger – a timeline of a British heritage brand
1884 Established by British businessman Lewis Tomalin as “Dr Jaeger’s Sanitary Woollen System Co Ltd” specialising in wool-jersey long johns
1910 Receives a Royal Warrant and begins creating woollen suits
1919 Launches the first Camel Hair Coat
1935 Opens its flagship store at 200-206 Regent Street
1950s Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn both appear in ads for the brand
1956 Designer Jean Muir joins the company and is put in charge of the Young Jaeger brand and is credited with attracting a more youthful audience
1962 Jean “The Shrimp” Shrimpton models for the brand in images shot by David Bailey
1967 Coats Viyella acquires the brand
1980s Brand falls out of favour in face of European rivals entering the UK market
1996 Brand enjoys a resurgence, wins a British Fashion Award under the direction of designer Jeanette Todd
2000 Bella Freud appointed as designer; she stays for 2.5 years
2003 Coats sells the brand to entrepreneur Richard Thompson who quickly sells it on to Harold Tillman
2004 Belinda Earl, formerly of Debenhams, is appointed CEO
2005 Tillman acquires Allders department store in Croydon
2008 Stuart Stockdale is appointed as creative director of Jaeger; Jaeger returns to London Fashion Week
2009 Tillman’s Jaeger team acquires Aquascutum (the heritage brand founded in 1851) from Renown
2012 Tillman sells his Jaeger shares to Better Capital, owned by Jon Moulton. Acquascutum falls into administration and is subsequently bought by its Asia licensee YGM Trading. Allders of Croydon placed into administration and subsequently ceases trading
2013 Colin Henry, formerly of Esprit, appointed Jaeger CEO; creative directors Jsen Wintle (menswear) and Sheila McKain-Waid (womenswear) also appointed
2015 Colin Henry departs and Jaeger announces sale of Regent Street flagship. Alix Partners reviews its future
2017 Better Capital sells Jaeger’s debt to Edinburgh Woollen Mill, then places the business into administration. EWM buys it out of administration
2020 EWM receives several approaches to buy the brand, including from an unnamed Chinese buyer. In November it is placed into administration.