Big interest in ailing company

THE number of companies interested in buying collapsed clothing firm Aquascutum is running into double figures, administrators have confirmed.

The Corby-based firm went bust last week, making 115 staff based at the manufacturing plant in Princewood Road redundant.

On Thursday, staff were told the company has no money to cover their next monthly pay cheque, holiday pay or salary in lieu of notice.

But a spokesman for administrators FRP Advisory LLP said interest in the firm had been “healthy” since its collapse.

One confirmed bidder is James Eden, who runs Manchester-based clothing firm Cooper & Stollbrand. Mr Eden’s firm had previously supplied outerwear to Aquascutum.

He said: “At the moment I have various businesses involved in the manufacture and retail of UK-made products.

“Our Private White brand is exported all over the world and we are stocked in many of the same places as Aquascutum.

“I am very keen to promote and support British manufacturing. I am very ambitious and one of my goals is to keep the Corby factory open.

“I want to keep that legacy in Corby.”

Mr Eden is planning a factory visit on Thursday to meet politicians, residents, former Aquascutum staff and any other parties interested in the firm’s fate.

Meanwhile, Corby’s MEP Derek Clark has expressed his concern about the company being taken over and relocated.

Mr Clark said: “Do I smell a rat? A big firm is ready to take them over in order to relocate production somewhere else and don’t want to tell Corby people the truth?”

Other parties said to be interested include Hong Kong-based YGM Trading and Edinburgh Woollen Mill.