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Dubai-Based Firm Buys Kilgour To Help Build Luxury Division

Kilgour, the venerable Savile Row tailor that has been reinvigorated by designer Carlo Brandelli, has changed hands.

Kilgour, the venerable Savile Row tailor that has been reinvigorated by designer Carlo Brandelli, has changed hands.

This story first appeared in the February 15, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

KFS Group Ltd., a private investment firm that has owned Kilgour since 2003, has sold the business to Dubai-based JMH Group, a $250 million concern that supplies chemicals to the construction industry.

JMH Group said it was building a small luxury division. Recently it purchased Ray Ward Gunsmiths, a luxury gun company, and Uplands Stables, a horse racing outfit, through its newly created JMH Lifestyle Ltd. subsidiary. James Hay, a former British Petroleum executive, owns JMH.

The acquisition of Kilgour, which had estimated sales last year of about $10 million, signals JMH’s desire to continue to build and diversify its luxury holdings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sources estimated Kilgour commanded about 10 million pounds, or about $14.6 million at average exchange.

The brand has been on an upward arc recently thanks to Brandelli, 37. He was elected British Fashion Council men’s wear designer of the year in 2005, and dresses the likes of Jude Law, Daniel Craig and Nick Knight.

The deal signals a redoubled push to grow the brand. Last year, Brandelli launched a more fashion-oriented line built around unstructured suits and jackets. A second store, featuring a big stingray tank, was opened last year on Savile Row in which to showcase it.

The company is exploring retail expansion beyond London, and Brandelli plans to stage Kilgour’s first runway show, in Paris, this June. “[The acquisition] represents a wonderful opportunity to help take Kilgour to a whole new level and establish itself as a true international brand in the luxury sector,” said David Duncan-Smith, who heads JMH’s lifestyle division.

Brandelli will remain with the house in his current role of creative director.