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Retail investors led by Harold Tillman seek to rescue Style Group Brands

Lauretta Roberts
31 May 2017

A consortium of retail investors, led by former Jaeger owner Harold Tillman, is believed to be trying to pull together a rescue deal for Style Group Brands, which owns labels such as Jacques Vert, Dash and Windsmoor.

According to Sky News, the consortium also includes Sandeep Vyas and Haseeb Aziz and it is planning to buy the business in a pre-pack administration deal.

Style Group Brands' owner Sun Capital Partners recently appointed KPMG to advise the group on its options and seek potential buyers for the largely concession-based business. However KPMG is understood to be preparing to put the business into administration within days so any deal would need to be thrashed out by the end of the week.

Style Group Brands employs 1,900 staff and trades from 470 stores including Debenhams, John Lewis Online, House of Fraser, Independent Department Stores (AIS), as well some standalone brand stores in the UK. It also operates internationally in North America, Canada, Belgium, Ireland and the Middle East.

The proposed pre-pack deal is understood to protect most of the jobs, according to Sky News, however some unspecified locations may face closure.

Sun Capital Partners acquired Jacques Vert Group in 2012 and merged it with Irisa in the same year. It was rebranded to Style Group Brands in 2016 and is full label line-up includes Jacques Vert, Precis Petite, Dash, Windsmoor and Eastex.

Tillman was recently linked to a potential rescue deal for his former business Jaeger, which he sold to Better Capital in 2012. A group of former Jaeger suppliers, including Portuguese clothing manufacturer Calvelex was interested in mounting a rescue bid and reinstalling Tillman at the helm, however it was revealed that Better Capital had sold the brand’s debt and its name to Edinburgh Woollen Mill group.

It was then announced over the weekend that Jaeger will be sold in the group’s new Days department stores (named after the Edinburgh Woollen Mill CEO Philip Day), the first of which has just been opened in Carmarthen in Wales.

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