Fashion retailer Blue Inc intends to rebadge 20 of the 46 Officers Club stores it has bought out of administration to its own fascia within three months.
The performance of the converted shops will then be monitored and any lessons learned will be applied as the remainder are rebranded.
The deal is thought to be worth about £5m and covers almost half of Officers Club’s 102 shops, safeguarding the jobs of 400 out of 900 staff.
This will secure Blue Inc a presence in Scotland for the first time and bolster its presence in the Northeast of England and Wales where it is under-represented.
Since Blue Inc chief executive Steven Cohen led a buyout in 2006, he has built store numbers from 28 to 100. The Officers Club acquisition now takes its store count to 146. Cohen has been considering a possible flotation of Blue Inc, or bringing in new investment.
He noted the administrations in recent years of menswear chains such as Envy - typically those with fewer than 100 shops - and said: “I see the opportunity here to be a sizeable payer.”
He added that the plan is to “eventually crystallise value” after building up the business, and “potentially get some institutional funding and continue the growth”.
Blue Inc also now has control of the Petroleum fascia, which was owned by Officers Club founder Dave Charlton.
The remainder of Officers Club’s stores were shut immediately, as was its warehouse, by administrator Grant Thornton. It was the second time in two years that Officers Club had been in administration.