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Frasers Buys Tailor to the Royal Court

Gieves & Hawkes, the Saville Row tailor that services the British royal court, is slated to be acquired by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The menswear label has five U.K. stores, including the flagship in London at Number 1 Saville Row. The deal is expected to include the stores, a move that likely has saved jobs although just how many has yet to be determined.

While Ashley has stepped down as CEO, he remains the largest shareholder of Frasers. His son-in-law Michael Murray took over as the reins in May.

“We are delighted to have acquired Gieves & Hawkes, securing a long-term future for an iconic 250-year-old brand,” Murray told the BBC on Friday. “This acquisition further adds to our portfolio of strategic investments in luxury and premium brands.”

Ashley founded Sports Direct, and after acquiring House of Fraser, merged the two and renamed the firm Frasers Group. It counts Jack Wills, Studio Retail, Evans Cycle and Agent Provocateur as brands under its portfolio. Known for its specialty in acquiring distressed retailers, Frasers has been active on the acquisitions front, snapping up a number of businesses this year. It increased investment stakes in Asos and Hugo Boss, and it also acquired bankrupt firms Sneakerboy and Missguided. The company also holds a 95 percent stake in the Australian close-out platform

Ashley has been eyeing Gieves & Hawkes since July when it was put up for sale. Revised bids were due in September and private equity firms, along with British retailer Marks & Spencer, were also said to have been interested bidders. Frasers reached the exclusive talks stage last week as it and liquidators finalized terms of the sales agreement.

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Gieves & Hawkes was acquired by Trinity Group in 2012 for 32.5 million pounds ($38.7 million), plus earnouts. Trinity was acquired by the Shangdong Ruyi, once hailed as China’s LVMH, in 2018. But Ruyi fell on financial hard times late 2021 and liquidators were put in charge of Trinity. Trinity had been trying to find a buyer but when Ruyi’s financial problems worsened Trinity ended up in the hands of liquidators.