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Japanese group leads Chester Barrie bid war

Japanese firm Itochu is the favourite to snap up Savile Row tailor Chester Barrie, as owner SRG tries to offload the brand.

Moss Bros and BMB Group are among those believed to have bid for the brand.

Chester Barrie has a store in Savile Row, but the main attraction of an acquisition is the licensing deal for the company's diffusion line Chester by Chester Barrie. The range is sold in John Lewis, House of Fraser and Moss Bros, as well as SRG's Suits You chain.

Itochu and menswear supplier Berwin & Berwin, which hold the Japanese and UK licences respectively, are also thought to be bidding. A decision on the sale is said to be imminent, but Itochu is understood to the front runner, with an offer of more than £2m.

Chester Barrie is part of SRG's stable of businesses, which includes Suits You, Woodhouse, Young's Hire and Racing Green. Chief executive Adrian Wright left earlier this month after tough trading.

One menswear operator said: "Chester Barrie is a great name with great heritage and has a very successful licensing arm."

SRG declined to comment on the sale.

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