Jaeger collapses into administration putting 680 jobs at risk

Fashion chain Jaeger has collapsed into administration putting 680 jobs at risk.

Directors of the British business - founded in 1884 - have appointed AlixPartners to oversee the process after its private equity owner, Better Capital, was unable to find a buyer.

It is the latest retailer to run into trouble amid tough conditions on the high street.

Jaeger - which has 46 stores, 63 concessions, a London head office and a logistics centre in Kings Lynn - had been on the market for around £30m.

But no buyer materialised and last week Better Capital sold Jaeger's debt to a company understood to be controlled by Philip Day, the businessman behind Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Jaeger was founded as Dr Jaeger's Woollen System Co Ltd by businessman Lewis Tomalin and boasts of its clothes having been worn by famous figures from explorer Ernest Shackleton to Marilyn Monroe.

Joint administrator Peter Saville, of AlixPartners, said: "Regrettably despite an extensive sales process it has not been possible to identify a purchaser for the business.

"Our focus now is in identifying an appropriate route forward and work with all stakeholders to do this. We will ensure that we communicate further as this process unfolds."

It is expected that most of Jaeger's stores will now close down though the brand is likely to survive as part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill stable, which also includes Jane Norman, Peacocks and Austin Reed, the Press Association reported.

Better Capital, led by Jon Moulton, bought Jaeger for £19.5m in 2012 but it has struggled amid tough conditions for high street retailers.

Last year total annual sales fell 7% to £78.4m while it booked a pre-tax loss of £5.4m according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Jaeger's collapse follows that of rival Austin Reed in 2016 - though the latter's rescue from administration is expected to see it return to high streets later this year.

Elsewhere, lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has been bought out of administration by Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley while struggling Jones Bootmaker was rescued recently in a deal which saw most jobs saved.

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