The Hong Kong-based Trinity Group, the owner of Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen and Cerruti, has been put into liquidation, the company revealed Monday in its filings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The Shandong Ruyi-owned company said FTI Consulting and R&H Services have been appointed as joint liquidators to assess the financial position of the group and to consider the opportunity of a possible restructuring.
The Times reported that the firms were drafted in by Standard Chartered, the company’s lender, after the advisory firm RSM failed to find a buyer for the storied British tailor.
While these brands may face permanent closure, as previously reported by WWD, a rescue deal could still be struck for Gieves & Hawkes’ brand name while its archive collection could be sold off at auction to collectors.
It’s understood that Marks & Spencer, which bought Jaeger out of insolvency last year, and which has been adding third-party brands to its growing online platform, is still exploring how it could incorporate Gieves & Hawkes into its business.
M&S has a strong tailored clothing offer, and has long worked with Savile Row tailor Richard James to design one of its in-house men’s clothing collections.
But The Times noted that the complicated ownership structure of Trinity and change of liquidators has frustrated any traditional sale process.
The other potential buyer is the entrepreneur Touker Suleyman, owner of high street tailoring brand Hawes & Curtis, women’s wear label Ghost, and several clothing factories in Turkey, Bulgaria and Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, according to market reports.
It remains unclear what will happen next to Cerruti, which Ruyi acquired when it took a majority stake in Trinity Group in 2017. Since the departure of its chief creative officer Jason Basmajian in 2019, the brand has gone off the radar, and is understood to have rebuffed a series of offers from interested parties.
Ruyi’s financial woes also caused companies in its portfolio, like Israeli men’s wear brand Bagir and Japanese apparel firm Renown, to file for bankruptcy protection in 2020. British trench coat maker Aquascutum, another of its brands, has ceased trading in the U.K. after closing its Regent Street flagship during the pandemic.