Bidders step up to buy fashion chain Jack Wills – This is Money

Prepped and ready: Jack Wills, which led the ‘preppy’ look in the UK, is attracting buyers

Jack Wills has attracted interest from a string of potential buyers since the fashion chain was put up for sale just days ago.

Auditor KPMG has been drafted in to ‘review the business and explore future opportunities’.

Crew Clothing is understood to be among those that have shown interest in the chain, although it is understood to be ‘no longer engaged’ in discussions. 

Private equity firms are also interested and sources said Mike Ashley could see it as a perfect fit for his House of Fraser store chain.

Jack Wills opened in Salcombe, Devon, in 1999 with ‘preppy’ fashion made popular by US brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch. 

But the trend has waned and now owner Bluegem Capital and lender HSBC are said to be losing patience with turnaround efforts. 

Jack Wills insisted its new strategy was ‘already reaping benefits’.

One source said minority shareholders could complicate a sale and the price tag could be ‘too expensive’ for the likes of Ashley.


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