TROUBLED cashmere firm Dawson International could call in administrators as early as this week after a deal to rescue its 3,200-member pension fund was rejected by regulators.
The Hawick-based company, which owns knitwear maker Barrie but is best known for former brands Pringle and Ballantine, failed to strike a deal with the Pension Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), putting 200 jobs at risk.
Board member Jan Holmstrom resigned in “frustration” after the announcement. He represented the interests of activist Swedish investor Peter Gyllenhammar and Johan Claesson, whose investment firm Leeds is expected to make an announcement about its 29 per cent stake in Dawson on Tuesday.
Last week, Leeds warned that the value of its stake was “uncertain”. Although Gyllenhammar left the board of Leeds last November, it is understood he still owns a 24 per cent stake in Leeds.
The decision by the PPF not to take on Dawson’s pension liabilities – plus a cash injection and a stake in Dawson – was criticised by the boards of Leeds and Dawson. Leeds also criticised pension trustees, which it said had “incurred significant expense in relation to the process”.
Dawson sold its Pringle sportswear business to the Hong Kong-based Fang Brothers in 2000. More recently, it sold its Kinross-based luxury yarn business, Todd & Duncan, to Chinese firm Zhongyin.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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