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Aquascutum secures £8m loan

Luxury British heritage brand Aquascutum has secured an £8m bank loan to help finance the loss-making business.

According to accounts filed at Companies House the brand made a loss of £10.3m in the 14 months to February 28 2010.

The brand, which is held by Jaeger owner and British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman, was bought by Tillman two years ago from Japanese group Renown. Tillman is now in the final stages of securing a new loan after a bank agreed to provide a secured credit facility of up to £8m subject to due diligence and documentation.

According to its latest accounts the group has received a £6m loan from its shareholders and has been given an undertaking by Jaeger Group that it will not need to repay its outstanding debt for a year. However the Companies House statement added that the group is reliant on a £3 loan made by YGM, the brand’s Hong Kong and Chinese licensee, that is due to be repaid on September 8. The group may now need to find additional funding to refinance this payment and directors have been talking to “lending institutions” to arrange new banking facilities.

Aquascutum recently entered into an agreement with menswear retailer Austin Reed for the sale of the lease of its flagship store on Regent Street for £5m. The sale is expected to be complete by mid August. The brand has agreed terms on two new stores which will open during the autumn.

Tillman said: “The business plan for Aquascutum is underway. We have completed the first part with a new distribution agreement in Italy… the second part is being finalised now. Wholesale orders are up and we are pleased with the progress being made with this great British heritage luxury brand.”

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