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Edinburgh Woollen Mill 'enters race for Jane Norman'

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has entered the race to buy womenswear chain Jane Norman, according to reports in two of this morning’s papers.

The Times and The Independent both say that the privately-owned knitwear business - which has traditionally targeted older shoppers - has entered the fray. Other parties understood to be in the running for all or part of the Jane Norman business include Debenhams, the team behind Aurora Fashions and private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.

Jane Norman has been put up for sale by the consortium of banks which control 80% of its shares. It has 90 shops plus concessions, and is saddled with debts of £140m.

While Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s core customers base is very different to that of Jane Norman, which targets shoppers in their teens and twenties, it has a record of rescuing the wreckage of troubled retailers, such as Ponden Mill and Rosebys.

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