By  on October 16, 2008

TOKYO — Renown said Wednesday that it intends to sell the Aquascutum brand, confirming mounting speculation the label was on the block.

Speaking at a Tokyo press conference, Renown Inc. president Minoru Nakamura said the Japanese company’s board had finalized the asset sale as part of a wider restructuring plan, although “to whom to sell and at how much has not been decided.” WWD reported Oct. 7 that, according to industry sources, Aquascutum president and chief executive Kim Winser is preparing a management buyout of the company she runs. A spokesman for Winser had no comment Wednesday.

According to Renown, Aquascutum London generates sales of about 7.3 billion yen, or $71.34 million, and loses 2 billion yen, or $19.5 million, annually. Renown is Aquascutum’s licensee in Japan and it intends to retain that right after selling the brand. “We are seeking a new owner under that condition,” Nakamura said.

Renown also issued a profit warning for the current year ending next February. Net losses are now seen coming in at 7 billion yen, or $68.4 million, for the entire fiscal year, compared with originally predicted net losses of 2.9 billion yen, or $28.3 million. Sales are now seen coming in at 164 billion yen, or $1.6 billion, compared with original prediction of 169 billion yen, or $1.65 billion.

Renown also said it is offering early retirement incentives to about 300 employees working for Renown and its subsidiaries. The packages will generate extraordinary losses of 1.8 billion yen, or $17.6 million, for the current fiscal year.

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