Slater pursues cash-rich with Austin Reed bid

Slater Menswear's proposed acquisition of Austin Reed would give it access to a more affluent customer base and provide a parallel channel of distribution, according to managing director Paul Slater.

'We have our own customer base, and while there is some overlap on the upper-middle brands, they do have a different customer profile,' he said.

Austin Reed would also give the mainly Northern-based retailer a wider geographical reach, he said. 'It would give us access to all the monied people in London.'

Slater hopes to acquire Austin Reed in full, he said, scuppering rumours that it is less interested in the Country Casuals fascia. The Austin Reed brand and its stores would retain their separate identity.

The Slater approach has prompted interest from a number of other retailers.