// Harold Tillman escalates long-running battle against Jaeger buyers
// Retail veteran and former British Fashion Council chair drafts in new lawyers
Former Jaeger owner and retail veteran Harold Tillman has hired new lawyers to help in his legal case over the collapse of the fashion business.
Tillman told The Mail on Sunday he has “strengthened” his claim against Lloyds and Better Capital, the private equity firm set up by Jon Moulton, over the collapse of Jaeger.
In 2012 Lloyds Bank sold £16 million of Jaeger’s debt to Better Capital, in a move Tillman states was sprung on the business while he was on holiday without warning, adding that he was not offered the chance to finance the debt himself.
Lloyds and Better Capital maintain there had been a “very clear risk” that Jaeger would fail.
Jaeger was put into administration shortly after the debt sale to Better Capital. It was then restructured under its new ownership, allowing the fashion brand to continue trading.
Tillman also bought Aquascutum in 2009, which was also put into administration as Jaeger’s new owners called in debts owed to the brand.
At the time of the 2012 deal, Jaeger owed Lloyds more than £16 million.
Tillman has said previously that during the 2012 deal process, he was in the final stages of negotiating the sale of Aquascutum in Europe.
He has argued this sale would have raised £10 million, allowing it to pay down its debt to Jaeger, which in turn would have been able to then cover much of its debt to Lloyds.