Legal battle threat over TM Lewin

The former owner of TM Lewin is threatening to take legal action against a company that rescued the shirtmaker from collapse.

Torque Brands Holdings has alleged that the 124-year-old clothing brand was tipped into “premature administration” last month by its lender, Petra, which has now taken over the business.

In a press release, Torque said that Petra “failed to exercise good faith when addressing certain provisions of the facility arrangements leading to TM Lewin’s premature administration”.

A spokesman said: “In our view, this was a ‘loan to own’ strategy and we will be pursuing all legal remedies available once our investigations are complete.”

Petra has denied wrongdoing and is considering an investigation into how TM Lewin was managed before its collapse.

TM Lewin, one of the UK’s most famous tailoring and menswear brands, fell into administration in March for the second time in two years.

Administrators at Interpath Advisory sold the brand and the assets on Friday to a company owned by Petra.

The new owners are expected to relaunch the online website over the coming weeks and are considering the possibility of opening new high street stores. 

In response to comments made by the Torque shareholders, the lenders said: “As lender to the group we have found ourselves in a very difficult situation which has had a material adverse impact on all creditors, including ourselves. 

“We are now considering all our options, including a full independent investigation into the management of the business while it was loss-making over the past two years and the events leading up to the administration. 

“It already appears clear that the operating expenses were overwhelming for the company under previous management and this was simply not sustainable.”

Will Wright, head of Restructuring at Interpath Advisory, said: “Following a great deal of interest, we’re pleased to have achieved this sale which secures the future of this famous British retail brand.” 

TM Lewin Shirtmaker Limited added: “We confirm the acquisition of TM Lewin, a brand steeped in tradition with a long and successful history in English shirt making. 

“Our plans are to relaunch trading and continue to serve and expand the brand’s loyal customer base in the UK and globally.”

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