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‘I’m encouraged by the interest in Jaeger’ says Better Capital boss Jon Moulton

Jaeger is attracting regular interest from potential buyers despite some of the challenges it has faced over recent months, the founder of its private equity owner has told Drapers.

Jon Moulton’s Better Capital bought a majority stake in Jaeger for £19.5m and ploughed a further £10m into the firm in the year to 27 February 2016.

“We regularly get approached for Jaeger and there is a lot of interest in the brand, which is encouraging,” said Moulton today. “They range from the credible to the fairly ridiculous but it is reassuring.”

Moulton plans to wind up Better Capital by 2020 but said he was confident Jaeger would be sold within that time frame. 

“Better Capital has a second fund, which can be extended for three years past the end and would take it to 2020. So, if it gets to that, and we still have Jaeger, then we’d have a problem but I don’t think it will get to that,” he said.

“The reality is that we’ll run out of companies before we run out of funds.”

Former chief executive Colin Henry left Jaeger in December 2015, when it was part way through a turnaround plan, and was replaced by Chris Horobin, who is an operating partner at Better Capital.

There have been more senior departures since, including its trading director, product director and chief information director at the end of last year.

Moulton acknowledged there has been a significant amount of change in personnel over the last 18 months, but said Jaeger is now “relatively stable”.

“It isn’t the cheeriest retail environment at the moment but we are making progress with Jaeger,” said Mouton. “We opened the new Marylebone High Street store and I can say it has truly exceeded expectations. We are facing the same problems as everyone else: that the high street isn’t great but the internet is.”

He confirmed that Jaeger had plans to refit stores or open new ones in a similar format.

“We’re not about to take a 60,000 sq ft store on Regent Street, for example, but we will have an announcement in the next couple of months on something near London.”

He said Christmas trading was “OK – not great but not too bad”, and warned that the weak sterling will create more challenges in the year ahead.

“I can’t pretend it’s not going to cause problems. At some stage this year we are going to see some retail inflation.”

 

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