Jaegar boss Tillman lands Aquascutum

LUXURY trench coat brand Aquascutum yesterday returned to British ownership after fashion entrepreneur Harold Tillman and Jaegar chief executive Belinda Earl announced a deal to buy the firm.<br /><br />Tillman, famed for his turnaround of upmarket high street store Jaegar, has said he plans to expand Aquascutum in overseas markets.<br /><br />Tillman said: &ldquo;There are markets where it&rsquo;s well known, but it hasn&rsquo;t got a big hold yet and these are the areas we&rsquo;re looking into.&rdquo;<br /><br />He declined to reveal how much he paid to buy the brand from Japanese private equity owner Renown and said it was too early to know how much he would have to invest in the brand.<br /><br />Renown paid &pound;100m for the brand in 1990. Under the deal the Asian brand rights will be sold to Hong-Kong based YGM for &pound;13.7m.<br /><br />Tillman, 63, said his strategy for the revival of the overcoat brand would be similar to the one he used to turn 125 year old Jaegar back into a profitable business. <br /><br />Tillman said Aquascutum had suffered from &ldquo;fairly static&rdquo; year-on-year sales, but like-for-likes were improving. Aquascutum posted a net loss of &pound;14.7m and sales of &pound;33m last year.<br /><br />Kim Winser, former Aquascutum chief executive, resigned in May after her year-long attempt at a management buy-out failed. <br /><br />Winser, who joined the brand in 2006 from knitwear firm Pringle, had signed James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and later supermodel Gisele Bundchen as celebrity faces of the trench coat maker.<br /><br />FAST FACTS AQUASCUTUM<br />&9679; British entrepreneur Harold Tillman and Jaegar boss Belinda Earl are set to buy the group. Kim Winser tried to pull off an MBOwhen she ran Aquascutum but failed.<br />&9679; Renown paid &pound;100m for the brand in 1990.<br /><br /><strong>1851</strong><br />Mayfair tailor John Emary opened a menswear shop in Regent Street.<br /><br /><strong>1853</strong><br />Emary patented a method of manufacturing a water repellent fabric. He then named the <br />company after the Latin words aqua (water) and scutum (shield).<br /><br /><strong>1853-6</strong><br />British army officers wore the grey raincoats to withstand the bitter Russian winters.<br /><br /><strong>1870s</strong><br />Emary and his son left Regent Street and handed Aquascutum over to Scantlebury &amp; Commin. <br /><br /><strong>1897</strong><br />Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, granted Aquascutum its first royal warrant after becoming a fan of the brand&rsquo;s overcoats.<br /><br /><strong>1987</strong><br />Aquascutum supplied the wardrobe for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for her historic visit to the USSR &ndash; placing her in the best dressed list.<br /><br /><strong>1990</strong><br />Japan&rsquo;s private equity firm Renown buys group for 20bn yen, (&pound;100m).