The high street empire founded by Mike Ashley is close to agreeing a deal to buy the stricken Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes.
Sky News understands that Frasers Group is in advanced talks to buy the brand, which was put up for sale earlier this year after its Hong Kong-based owner collapsed into liquidation.
The value of the deal was unclear on Sunday evening but will not be material in the context of Frasers’ size.
Frasers, where Mr Ashley remains the majority shareholder but is no longer a director, has been contemplating an acquisition of Gieves & Hawkes since September.
Formed in its current guise in 1974, the respective histories of the Gieves and Hawkes tailoring labels date back to 1785 and 1771 respectively.
Savile Row, which for centuries has been synonymous with high-quality men’s formalwear, has endured a tough period, with the pandemic’s impact on working habits impacting demand for bespoke suits.
Gieves & Hawkes has held royal warrants for the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as King Charles III and the Duke of Edinburgh.
It has dressed some of the most important figures in English history, including Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Based at 1 Savile Row, the brand has been part of Trinity Group – which is in turn owned by the collapsed Shandong Ruyi Technology Group – since 2012.
For the previous decade, it was owned by a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Wing Tai Properties.
In recent years Frasers – previously known as Sports Direct International – has swallowed high street brands including Jack Wills, Evans Cycles and Agent Provocateur.
In June, it snapped up Missguided, the troubled online fashion retailer, in a £20m deal.
More recently, it looked at buying Made.com, which was snapped up by Next Group last week after collapsing into insolvency.
FTI Consulting has been handling Shandong Ruyi’s liquidation and the sale of Gieves & Hawkes.
Daniel Chow, one of the liquidators, was quoted in July as saying: ‘Gieves has a solid foundation and a reputable name.
“We are confident we will find the right partner who can bring its expertise and resources to help drive future growth, maximise its value and take it to the next level.”
Frasers Group declined to comment.