The Hong Kong-based YGM Trading, who manages the likes of Guy Laroche, Charles Jourdan, and J. Lindeberg, plans to purchase Aquascutum Ltd., the only part of the British heritage brand that the group does not already own.
YGM controls Aquascutum’s intellectual property rights and Asian business, which generates about 80 percent of global sales and 100 percent of the profits. “This is a serious trophy asset for YGM, a phenomenal purchase,” said Kim Winser, who served as chief executive officer of Aquascutum under its Japanese parent Renown.
Other industry insiders, however, doubt whether YGM will be able to grow the Aquascutum brand successfully in China. “They are not a top-tier group and they do not have Li & Fung or LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton kind of money or vision. It’s just not that big an operation. On top of that, do they know how to develop a brand in Europe or the U.S.? They are fundamentally a licensing house, and what they will likely do is turn Aquascutum into a cheaper version of what it is now,”one source said.
The company, at least, has high hopes. Recently they said, “It is YGM Trading’s long-term strategy to continue Aquascutum’s successful position as a prestigious, classic European label with a flair of high fashion.”
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