And So Philip Day’s Empire Keeps Expanding (Allegedly)
Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is in advanced talks to buy men’s tailoring supplier Berwin & Berwin, Drapers understands.
The debt and equity of the 131-year-old business has been acquired by a unknown consortium of investors, unrelated to EWM Group. The retail group is now in talks with the consortium about acquiring Berwin & Berwin but the deal has yet to be finalised, according to industry sources.
A source close to the situation said EWM Group recognised synergies between Berwin & Berwin and its existing brands.
Day bought Austin Reed, for which Berwin & Berwin was the main supplier, in November 2016. EWM later bought Jaeger – another business supplied by Berwin & Berwin – in March last year.
Berwin & Berwin has four brands – Baumler, Lambretta, Paul Costelloe and Daniel Hechter – along with the private label supply part of the business. It produces 17,000 suits a week.
The demise of Austin Reed hit the company hard and resulted in a pre-tax loss of £1.1m for the 12 months to 31 December 2015. Financial results for the following year are yet to be announced.
Managing director Simon Berwin’s great-grandfather set up the company when he arrived in the north of England more than 131 years ago from Belarus with his wife, seven children and a sewing machine.
If the deal completes it will be the latest in a long line of fashion acquisitions for EWM, which also owns Jane Norman, Country Casuals and Days department store.
EWM Group and Berwin & Berwin both declined to comment.