Menswear business Cooper & Stollbrand is preparing a bid for the Aquascutum brand and its Corby manufacturing plant, following the collapse of the British heritage business last week.
Aquascutum administrator FRP Advisory announced last week that it was to close Aquascutum’s Corby manufacturing plant, making 115 staff redundant “with immediate effect” because it was no longer viable.
At the weekend, Cooper & Stollbrand boss James Eden emerged looking to rescue the factory, telling The Times, “We understand Aquascutum’s product, its customers and most importantly, what it takes to maintain, to manage and develop a profitable successful UK factory.”
Eden is looking to table a bid for the Aquascutum brand and the factory this week.
Cooper & Stollbrand is thought to be up against bidders including Hong Kong-based YGM Trading, which owns the brand in Asia. Other bidders are thought to include Ittierre, which holds the licence for the brand in Europe, and Hong Kong sourcing company Li & Fung.
Industry sources have said that Aquascutum is likely to be rescued by an international group or existing licensee because of the brand’s ownership in Asia by YGM Trading.
Cooper & Stollbrand, which has its own factory in Manchester, employs around 90 staff, supplying Aquascutum, John Lewis, Thomas Pink and Burberry. It also produces its own label Private White VC and has two stores in London.
Administrator FRP Advisory declined to comment.