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Better Capital ploughs further £10m into Jaeger




Jaeger’s private equity owner, Better Capital, has invested another £10m into the premium retailer over the past eight months and installed one of its own leaders, Chris Horobin, as interim chief executive.

Horobin has held a variety of retail roles, including chief executive of QVC Japan from 2007 to 2011. He joined Better Capital as operating partner in September this year.

He replaces Colin Henry, who left Jaeger in September partway through a five-year turnaround plan.

In documents released to the London Stock Exchange today, Better Capital said it had invested £7m into Jaeger between March and September this year and a further £3m in October to fund “ongoing losses and provide the working capital necessary to build on the progress achieved to date”.

The firm has invested a total of £66m in Jaeger since it bought the chain from Harold Tillman in April 2012.

Jaeger was valued at £37m as of September 30, up from the £30m valuation at the end of March, but down from the £50m valuation for the same period last year.

Better Capital described Jaeger’s trading as difficult. For the year to date, like-for-like sales are behind the previous year due to slower sales performance in its stores and concessions, although it reported strong growth in online and outlets. Jaeger has 31 stores, 31 outlet stores and 70 concessions. Online now accounts for 20% of sales.

In summer, the management team completed a strategy review and said changes will be evident in spring 16, with the brand focusing on a contemporary, casual feel in keeping with its British heritage.

Jaeger sold the lease on its Regent Street store, which it has occupied for 80 years, to US lifestyle brand Coach in October. Better Capital said the sale was completed “before a further rent increase impacted store profitability”. The Jaeger team is actively pursuing new locations for London flagship.

Following Henry’s departure, Jaeger’s private equity owner Better Capital appointed turnaround consultancy AlixPartners as a financial adviser.


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