YGM Trading Ltd announced on Thursday that it is selling its Aquascutum label to Chinese textile group Jining Ruyi Investment Co Ltd for $117 million, raising capital to fund new brand acquisitions. Hong Kong-based YGM Trading said it reached an agreement to sell manufacturing, retailing and intellectual property rights of the British brand, which has dressed Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill, as the business may continue to put pressure on its profitability.
Per Reuters, YGM Trading said it estimated a HK$288.4 million ($37.2 million) gain from the disposal and the proceeds would be earmarked for diversifying its brand portfolio.
Founded by tailor John Emary in 1851, Aquascutum's brand rose to fame before celebrity advertising became mainstream, helped by its long association with the British Royal family. After King Edward VII first bought an Aquascutum coat in 1897, the slick and expensive rain coats became popular with aristocrats, political leaders and movie stars. The likes of Margaret Thatcher and Humphrey Bogart were often seen wearing the iconic brand.