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Buyers line up for troubled Jack Wills

Prospective suitors are lining up to bid for troubled fashion retailer Jack Wills. 

Among those on the list are Marquee Brands – the parent of Ben Sherman – Sports Direct and Philip Day, who owns Edinburgh Woollen Mill and who recently took a controlling interest in distressed women’s-wear retailer Bonmarche. 

Among other prospective buyers identified by Retail Gazette as in “the early stages of assessing a possible offer” for Jack Wills are Crew Clothing, restructuring firm Hilco and investment firm Alteri.

BlueGem began canvassing for prospective buyers for Jack Wills early this month after engaging advisory firm KPMG to prepare a review of the business’ prospects. According to companies office records, Jack Wills lost £29.3 million for the year to January 31 last year, and a £28 million cash injection from BlueGem in January this year has been almost exhausted. 

BlueGem has said it would retain a minority stake in the business, which it clearly still believes in. 

“The current investors believe the business can benefit from being part of a larger platform and would welcome the opportunity to retain a minority stake, which allows them to realise value from their investment to date,” the KPMG document reads.

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