Tillman calls for US-style Chapter 11 system as he steps down at Calvetron

Fashion entrepreneur and ex-BFC chairman Harold Tillman is calling for a US Chapter 11-style bankruptcy protection system to give struggling companies the breathing space to turn their operations around rather than falling into administration.


Calvetron Brands


The call came as he also stepped back from his interim role in charge of Calvetron Brands, the company that runs the Jacques Vert, Eastex and Dash labels.

Tillman said: “If we had Chapter 11 like in the US we would have more jobs and more businesses rescued.”

The Chapter 11 process has both supporters and detractors in the UK with some saying the system, which allows firms to continue trading while they re-organise, also allows incompetent management to continue. 

But others say it offers viable businesses the chance to recover without fear of short-termist creditors pouncing prematurely. It could also avoid the controversial ‘pre-pack’ administration deals that have been a regular feature of the under-pressure UK retail scene of late.

Tillman had been brought in as a strategic advisor to Calvetron Brands having headed a consortium that acquired the struggling brands owned by Style Group during the summer. He has since worked on a turnaround plan and named Peter Ridler as CEO.

Calvetron directo Haseeb Aziz said: “Harold’s extensive experience of the retail sector and his guidance has been enormously helpful to the business. With the business now well established, the company is confidently looking forwards to a successful future.”

While the Calvetron labels that Tillman has been overseeing were acquired in a pre-pack deal, the exec clearly feels the system is not ft for purpose and is still unhappy about the process that saw him losing control of Jaeger in 2012 and missing out on the chance of re-acquiring the brand when it collapsed earlier this year. A consortium of its suppliers had been interested in buying it with Tillman at the helm, but the administrators struck a behind-the-scenes deal with a holding company owned by Philip Day.

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