Jaeger owner and British Fashion Council Chairman Harold Tillman sold the brand to Better Capital in a £19.5m deal— an amount Tillman characterised as only ‘fractionally more’ than the debt connected to the business.
The brand’s pretax profits dropped 65% to £772,000 in the year to February 2011, though revenues rose 10% to £93.9m in the same period. The company attributed the results to loss-making shops, inclement weather in December 2010 and the decision to end its Japanese license agreement, leading to reduced royalties from Japan.
In January 2012, Tillman said the retail environment remained ‘challenging’ for UK businesses. Jaeger did not participate in the most recent round of London Fashion Week shows, held in February, after years as a fixture on the schedule.
Better Capital said in a statement that it had purchased the secured debt and 90% ownership in the brand. Tillman will retain a 10% stake and remain on the company’s board as chairman.
Jaeger released a statement about the change in ownership: ‘The Board is pleased that Jaeger has a new owner in Better Capital, thereby securing the future of the business. The investment that Better Capital has provided will create a strong foundation on which to further develop our iconic brand.’