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M&S closes in on deal to snap up Jaeger

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2-min read
A woman passes a sign outside a Marks & Spencer stall at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, northern England, October 7, 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble  (BRITAIN POLITICS BUSINESS)
An agreement to acquire the brand, which was part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group empire owned by retail tycoon Philip Day, could be signed as soon as this week. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

Marks and Spencer (MKS.L) is poised to snap up clothing chain Jaeger after it fell into administration at the end of last year.

An agreement to acquire the brand, which was part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) empire owned by retail tycoon Philip Day, could be signed as soon as this week.

A source close to Day's business told Sky News that a transaction with M&S was “imminent” but added that many of his former assets were less likely to be salvaged.

EWM, which also owned brands such as Peacocks, Jacques Vert and Austin Reed, appointed FRP Advisory as administrators in November 2020, putting more than 4,700 jobs at risk in the process.

London-based Jaeger had 76 stores and concessions, employing 347 staff prior to its collapse. The M&S deal is expected to involve Jaeger's brand and stock but not the standalone stores.

Jaeger’s online shopping operations have remained open and continue to trade as normal.

Watch: The UK high street names lost in 2020

READ MORE: Biggest Christmas on record for UK supermarkets as online sales double in December

The news comes as M&S is thought to be in the running for some of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia Group brands, such as Topshop, Burton, Evans and Miss Selfridge. Arcadia also fell into administration in November as the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated declining footfall, rising online competition and increased business rates.

Last year, the retailer also made a play to become the UK franchisee of Victoria's Secret but lost out to fashion rival Next.

M&S’s will publish its Christmas trading update on Friday. The company declined to comment to Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.

Watch: UK retail sales fell 3.8% in November as lockdown hit stores