The UK brand’s future is hanging in the balance after its Japanese owner, Renown, announced it would hold the first meetings of a 90-day consultation process with more than 300 staff towards the end of the month.
However, it would not be drawn on details and says the potential buyer, Hong Kong based distributor YGM Trading, has not yet confirmed if it will pursue its interest in acquiring the brand.
The news comes a week after Renown was forced to appoint a new managing director, Yukio Ueda, following the sudden departure of previous incumbent Kim Winser who had led a failed attempt at a management buyout.
The brand had enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years alongside fellow British heritage brands such as Burberry. Its heritage stretches back to 1851 and it has counted the likes of Humphrey Bogart and the Queen Mother as customers.
Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan is its current brand ambassador.