Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 13:57 UK

Jaeger saviour to buy Aquascutum

Aquascutum clothing on the catwalk
Aquascutum is not just about raincoats...

Fashion brand Aquascutum is returning to British ownership after entrepreneur Harold Tillman announced a deal to buy the business.

Best known for the turning round Jaeger, Mr Tillman has acquired the Aquascutum brand from Japan's Renown.

He has set his sights on overseas expansion, looking to play on the firm being "steeped" in British heritage.

Northamptonshire-based Aquascutum was established in 1851 and opened its first UK factory in 1909.

The brand "punches above its weight" in terms of its name, Mr Tillman said, but added it was still relatively small and had scope for expansion, particularly in the US, Russia and the Middle East.

Other plans include opening more UK stores, allowing customers to buy online, and bring in a wider range of products.

'Uncertain period'

The firm has had an uncertain few months after the Japanese owners failed to sell the firm.

Chief executive, Kim Winser, quit in May after management buyout talks collapsed.

Mr Tillman has declined to guarantee the future of the UK factory, but said workers should be "comforted" by his previous track record.

"Initially we will get our heads around it and understand what the factory does and we have no immediate plans to make any changes," he said.

"The business has had a period of uncertainty and I am hoping now everyone can relax and start to enjoy it."

Aquascutum is most famous for its coats and rainwear. Its name comes from the two Latin words "aqua" and "scutum" meaning water shield.

Aquascutum was established by tailor John Emary. It has counted Cary Grant, Margot Fonteyn and Margaret Thatcher among its customers.

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