The owner of the troubled British fashion brand Jaeger is in talks about a sale of the retailer, just weeks after CEO Colin Henry stepped down and left the company without a boss to oversee Christmas.
According to Sky News Better Capital, the investment firm which owns Jaeger, has decided to explore an acquisition with interested bidders, and has asked advisers at AlixPartners to oversee talks.
A source close to Better Capital told Sky News that a formal auction was not planned but that it was responding to incoming interest from unnamed buyers.
It is understood however, that analysts have expressed doubt over any value left in the business given its current struggles.
The news comes as other retailers are gearing up for the year’s most prominent trading period.
Better took over Jaeger in 2012, taking on most of its debt and the company’s shares as the label fell into administration, a move which concerned former Jaeger boss Harold Tillman.
Tillman, who ran Jaeger for eight years, has publicly expressed his feelings over the way the retailer has been run since he sold it and has said he would start a rival business to satisfy disappointed Jaeger customers.
The veteran retailer said he was “saddened” by the way Better Capital, notorious for the collapse of its CityLink parcels business last year, had handled Jaeger since purchasing it.
A 131 year-old business, Jaeger is positioned as a premium British fashion brand. Tillman brought in the Jaeger London and Jaeger Boutique brands to attract new, younger customers but Better closed these down, much to Tillman’s dismay.
There has been speculation that Tillman wants Jaeger back, although it is not known if he is among the parties that have approached Better about buying the brand.
Since installing Henry to turnaround the performance, losses have been reduced but capital has continuously been required from Better.
Better said that Jaeger’s value had been written down to £30m at the end of March, a net reduction of £26m during the year.