Better Capital has refused a number of offers to buy its beleaguered premium retailer Jaeger because they were deemed to be too low, it has emerged.
The private equity firm’s founder and chairman Jon Moulton has confirmed there were bids, but denied actively trying to sell the chain.
“Everything we own is up for sale and if you offered a quarter of a billion, you could have Jaeger in five minutes,” he told Drapers. “We’re in no form of active sales process or negotiations to sell it right now.”
Moulton did not comment on reports that the bids received to date came in at around the £35m mark, whereas Better Capital is holding out for more than £40m.
The offers came from a mix of private equity firms and other retailers, according to The Telegraph. It is not known how many were received.
Better Capital has ploughed a total of £66m in Jaeger since it bought the chain from Harold Tillman in April 2012.
The retailer was valued at £37m as of September 30 2015, up from the £30m valuation at the end of March 2015, but down from the £50m valuation for the same period in 2014. In November last year, Better Capital described Jaeger’s trading as difficult.
Jaeger is close to exiting its 27,500 sq ft flagship store at 200-206 Regent Street in London, which it has occupied for the past 80 years. It has sold the lease to US lifestyle brand Coach.
Jaeger now operates from 30 stores, 31 outlet stores and 70 concessions across the UK. Online accounts for around 20% of sales.
Moulton confirmed that Better Capital operating partner Chris Horrobin is running the chain on an interim basis following the sudden departure of chief executive Colin Henry in September 2015.
He said he will look for a permanent replacement “at some point”.