M&S closes in on deal to pluck Jaeger from administration

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Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) is reportedly close to a deal to buy clothing brand Jaeger following its fall into administration in November.

Overnight, it was revealed that the FTSE 250 retailer could sign a deal to acquire Jaegar as soon as this week, which will likely involve M&S taking ownership of the brand and its stock but not its chain of standalone shops, according to a Sky News report.

READ: Supermarkets enjoy biggest ever month as coronavirus cannot dent Christmas spending

Jaeger previously formed part of retail empire Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM), owned by tycoon Philip Day, which collapsed in November as the ongoing pandemic and associated lockdown measures saw customer numbers dry up.

The conglomerate also owned the Peacocks, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert brands, although these are not known to be of interest to M&S.

If M&S does acquire Jaegar the brand will form another plank in the company’s new strategy of trying to sell third-party brands that draw in more of its core customers.

The company also tried to snap up the UK franchisee of lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret last year in a similar move but was ultimately defeated by a rival bid from Next PLC (LON:NXT).

Next also remains on the hunt for more M&A, with boss Simon Wolfson saying earlier this week that it is part of a consortium bidding for some of the brands owned by Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia.

“We are part of a consortium that is bidding for some of those brands,” Wolfson said in an interview with Reuters, adding that the clothes retailer would not take a majority stake in any deal.

The owner of Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridges tumbled into administration in November.

M&S shares were up 4% to 139.2p on Wednesday afternoon.

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