// Frasers Group, Marks & Spencer, Crew Clothing and Charles Tyrwhitt are all looking into acquiring TM Lewin
// TM Lewin collapsed into administration for second time in two years this month
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, Marks & Spencer, Charles Tyrwhitt and Crew Clothing are all circling TM Lewin after the retailer fell into administration this month for the second time in two years, according to The Times.
It is understood that the rivals have expressed an interest in the business and are seeking further information about its recent financial performance from administrators at Interpath, although it is not yet clear which if any will pursue a bid ahead of next month’ deadline.
Founded in 1898, TM Lewin is a century-old shirt maker famous for selling the first button-up shirt, during the First World War it supplied the army with uniforms and it claims to have sold more than 70 million shirts.
Prior to the pandemic the business had grown into a successful multi-channel business with more than 150 stores worldwide under the ownership of private equity house Bain.
However in April 2020 just after the pandemic struck Bain offloaded the business to Torque Brands, an investment vehicle established by SCP Private Equity.
The brand fell into administration earlier this month for the second time in two years after an attempt to revive the retailer as an online-only entity failed.
“Over the course of the pandemic, men’s apparel – and formalwear in particular – has been one of the hardest hit parts of the retail sector, as work-from-home measures and restrictions on events meant demand for suits and formal tailoring waned,” said Will Wright from Interpath Advisory.
“Unfortunately, and despite the Company undergoing a significant restructuring at the start of the pandemic which saw it move to an online model, the impact on this famous British brand has been severe.
“Our immediate priority is to explore options for the business, including a sale of the business and its assets.”