Hong Kong-based YGM Trading Ltd has agreed to buy Aquascutum for 15 million pounds ($24 million). YGM - which also distributes men's and ladies' wear under brands including Michel René, Guy Laroche, Charles Jourdan, Ashworth, and
J.Lindeberg - said the acquisition was beneficial, given the substantial potential for Aquascutum's development. Trading in YGM shares was suspended earlier on Thursday.
already owns the Asian licenses to Aquascutum and the deal includes Aquascutum’s existing stock, trademarks, intellectual property rights and some of its British retail store and concession business. The Chinese company has had the British retailer's royalty rights for the Asian market, a high-growth area for luxury goods, since 2009.In 1998, YGM was appointed as the key licensee, authorised manufacturer and sole distributor for mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia.
FRP Advisory - which said in April that two of its partners had been named administrators of Aquascutum - said the sale, which includes the UK stores, concessions and head office operations, would safeguard jobs of more than 100 employees, reported Reuters. The administrator also advanced they were continuing to deal with interested parties regarding a sale of the factory based in Corby, which they hope to achieve within the next two weeks.
Commenting on the acquisition, YGM's Chairman Peter Chan said the company believes there’s "substantial potential for future development" of the unprofitable 161-year-old label, according to a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange website. Asn released by Sky News, the new owner is expected to improve marketing of the label in its home and developing markets.