Aquascutum, the 160-year-old British clothing retailer which has dressed Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, was reported to be on the brink of collapse today.
Administrators could be called in as soon as today, jeopardising some 250 jobs, after its owner Harold Tillman sold a majority stake yesterday in Jaeger, whose operations are tied in with it.
Mr Tillman bought Aquascutum in 2009 and has invested some £20 million in a fight to turn it around but the Financial Times understands he can no longer afford to support its losses.
Aquascutum was founded in 1851 by tailor John Emary. In its early days it was best known for a style of trenchcoat worn during the First World War.
The business’s clothes have been worn by Lady Thatcher, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.