Marks & Spencer held discussions about possible Jaeger acquisition


Marks & Spencer reportedly held discussions with Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group owner Philip Day over the potential acquisition of its heritage fashion brand Jaeger.

According to a report on the This is Money website, Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe led the talks but they did not lead to an offer being made, though they are understood to be ongoing.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group placed Jaeger and its value fashion chain Peacocks into administration on Friday having failed to find buyers in recent weeks.

Day is in talks with New York hedge fund Davidson Kempner over a deal to take a stake in Peacocks, which owns fellow value fashion chain Bonmarche, which would secure its future and leave Day in control.

There is said to have been considerable interest in Jaeger, which Day acquired out of administration in 2017. Among those circling were Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, which pulled out of the race, and Jaeger’s former owner Harold Tillman.

M&S was understood to be interested in the Jaeger brand and some of its team, though not necessarily its stores. The brand, which is led by Philip Day’s daughter Lauren, employs 350 staff and has around 70 stores and concessions.

This is not the first time that M&S has shown an interest in adding third-party brands to its portfolio. It recently came up again Next in the race to secure the UK franchise rights for US lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, with rival high street chain Next eventually securing the deal.

It has also begun to sell third-party brands on its website with sustainable fashion brand Nobody’s child the first to go live in October.