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International fashion house calls FRP Advisory administrators

International fashion retailer Aquascutum worn by Kate Middleton calls in FRP Advisory administrators

18 Apr 2012 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

Geoff Rowley

FRP ADVISORY administrators have been called to global fashion retailer Aquascutum.

Geoff Rowley and Phil Armstrong, partners at FRP Advisory, were appointed joint-administrators to the luxury fashion brand which is worn by politicians, celebrities and royalty including Kate Middleton.

Founded in 1851, the company was famed for producing the first waterproof wool and its iconic trench coat. Harold Tillman and Belinda Earl acquired the business in 2009 following losses of £24m from the previous year. Over the next three years investors pumped in £30m and directors took the decision they could no longer afford to prop up the company.

Rowley (pictured) said: "We are conscious of the value of the Aquascutum brand and its long-standing heritage and because of this are keen to enter in to early discussions with interested parties open to purchasing the business as soon as possible."

"We will of course be conducting an urgent assessment of all stores and concessions and look to communicate to staff and suppliers at the very earliest opportunity."

The company, which employs 250 people in the UK, has three high street stores in Westfield (White City), Canary Wharf in Windsor, and 16 concessions in Austin Reed, Selfridges, Harrods, House of Fraser and John Lewis. It also has seven outlets and 11 international concessions.

A statement from Aquascutum said: "The challenging conditions in the UK however, has unfortunately meant that the team have been unable to successfully turn the business around which has ultimately resulted in its administration. The board hopes that under FRP Advisory, the business will be disposed of successfully. "

According to the Financial Times, for the five months to February 2010 the company made a loss of £6.4m and the the nine months to September 2009 it had made a loss of £16.7m.

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