TM Lewin "turning Japanese"

As I have commented on previous occasions, there would definitely appear to be a cache for foreign buyers when it comes to British high street names and brands. I make this statement off the back of the reported interest in TM Lewin, the Jermyn Street (original home of tailors and high end shoe and shirt retailers in London) shirt maker, by Itochu Corporation, a Japanese based conglomerate. Itochu started life in 1858 as a linen trading company, but has diversified over the last 150 years and is now a Japanese listed firm that has interests across a multitude of different industry sectors. TM Lewin was bought by its management in May 2006 with the backing of Royal Bank of Scotland, so a sale to Itochu, a company that Lewin already know as they supply them with fabric, is expected to bring the management a windfall, with prices being quoted as between GBP 80 and GBP 100m.

Itochu is no stranger to the British fashion world having already acquired a 40 per cent stake in Paul Smith, the London based men’s fashion house, back in 2006, so this would further confirm their status as a willing investor into high end UK designer retailers.