Belfast Telegraph

British establishment clothing brand Aquascutum sold for £97m

An iconic fashion brand whose luxury trench coats have been donned by British prime ministers and the Royal Family is being sold for a cool 120 million US dollars (£97 million).

Aquascutum has been put on the market by Hong Kong-listed YGM Trading, with two buyers making a down payment of five million US dollars (£4 million) for exclusivity rights.

The deal is set to be complete by the end of March next year, according to YGM's annual report.

Counting Margaret Thatcher, the Queen Mother and Pink Panther star Peter Sellers among its illustrious fans, Aquascutum rose to prominence in the late 19th century when founder John Emary patented the first waterproof textile.

It went on to supply trench coats to soldiers throughout the first and second world wars, while its wyncol fabric was used by explorer Edmund Hilary during his ascent to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

However, the firm has endured a rocky ride in more recent years, closing the doors on its Corby factory in Nottinghamshire and making 115 people redundant after collapsing into administration in 2012.

Updating on its performance, YGM Trading said UK sales slid 15.8% for the six months to the end of September.

Chinese textile giant Shandong Ruyi Group is said to be interested in snapping up the historic brand after buying French fashion house SMCP earlier this year, according to a report by Bloomberg.