TM Lewin rescue deal imminent - report
TM Lewin is set to be bought out of administration imminently by an investment firm linked to Petra Group, a report said on Friday.
Sky News said the firm’s main lender has struck a deal to buy the brand that recently filed for administration for the second time in under two years. A formal announcement could come soon.
TM Lewin had been owned by Torque Brands, which acquired it shortly after the pandemic started and quickly put it into administration as the extent of its Covid-linked problems became clear.
It then closed the label’s 66-strong store estate and turned it into an online-only brand.
TM Lewin, which was founded in 1898, had been a formalwear stalwart specialising in shirts. But work-from-home orders during the Covid crisis and the cancellation of social events saw formalwear sales falling off a cliff as consumers embraced loungewear.
Along with the store closures, the company downsized its workforce and is believed to employ fewer than 100 people at present.
It had been thought that some of the big — and acquisitive — names in retail might try to buy the brand with M&S and Frasers Group both being mentioned.
That would have likely seen TM Lewin come back as a physical stores brand in some way. And it looks like that might happen under Petra’s control too. Sky News reported that it’s “said to be interested in reviving the brand's high street presence”.
That could be a key move as some have speculated that TM Lewin’s ongoing problems were partly linked to it not sitting quite comfortably as an online pureplay label.
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