A group of suppliers who claim to be owed millions of pounds following the demise of Jaeger have expressed an interest in taking over the collapsed retailer, Drapers can reveal.
The bid is being led by César Araújo, owner of Portuguese textile group Calvelex, which has supplied Jaeger for more than 20 years. Araújo was in London this week and spoke to administrators about the proposal.
Araújo wants Harold Tillman, the former chairman and owner of Jaeger, to come back on board and recruit a new team for the business, which Araújo believes “can become a world leader once again”.
Tillman said he would return to the brand, which he says was profitable under his leadership. “I have a duty and obligation to the brand, employees and suppliers,” he told Drapers. “There are too many pre-pack deals around. We need to enhance our morals and ethics in business in this country.”
Araújo told Drapers he thinks the UK government should review insolvency laws to provide a more “ethical, moral and level playing field”, which gives all creditors access to information and the opportunity to have an input in the future of a company in administration.
“Suppliers are often left with nothing and it is completely unacceptable,” he argued. “The law needs to change. It is affecting people’s jobs and livelihoods.”
He added that it is “increasingly difficult” for suppliers to do business with British retailers without running the risk of losing money due to firms falling into insolvency.
Peter Saville, Ryan Grant, and Catherine Williamson of AlixPartners were appointed joint administrators of Jaeger on 10 April.
Earlier this week Jaeger announced it was closing 20 stores and making 209 redundancies across its head office, distribution centre and store network.
AlixPartners declined to comment.