LONDON — Aquascutum is gearing up for layoffs.

This story first appeared in the June 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The company said Wednesday it has entered a consultation period with its workforce. During consultation periods, employers talk to staff and unions about planned layoffs.

The brief statement said details of the consultation period “will not be clarified until it is confirmed whether YGM Trading will be pursuing their purchase of the business.”

As reported last week, Hong Kong-based YGM Trading Ltd., Aquascutum’s Chinese licensee, confirmed that one of its subsidiaries had signed a letter of intent for the possible purchase of Aquascutum from Japan’s Renown Inc. At the time, the company said it was negotiating the terms of the deal and no “formal agreement” has been reached.

Aquascutum chief executive officer Kim Winser resigned suddenly last month after Renown turned down her offer to buy the outerwear, ready-to-wear and accessories brand in a management buyout that she had been working on for about 18 months.

The statement Wednesday said a first consultation meeting would likely be held toward the end of June. The brand employs more than 400 people and has an outerwear factory in Northamptonshire, England.

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