KPMG for Dawson International Holdings (UK) Ltd (in Administration)



Despite garments not having been produced under the brand since the 1960s, Horrockses had been one of Britain’s most noted brands with a rich heritage. Incorporated as Horrockses, Crewdson & Co Ltd in 1791, during the 19th Century, Horrockses became known for producing high quality household cottons and was favoured by the Royal Family.

In the 1940s, Horrockses successfully expanded into fashion, producing branded garments using the finest British cotton, and Horrockses Fashions became a household name in its heyday in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.


Metis Partners had been asked by Blair Nimmo and Gary Fraser of KPMG, Joint Administrators of Dawson International Holdings (UK) Ltd, to conduct an intensive sales and marketing campaign to maximise the return from the intellectual property assets relating to the Horrockses name. Metis Partners were provided with a schedule of dormant trade marks owned by the Company and were given the task of marketing and selling them.

Our Approach

Metis Partners conducted thorough research into the history of the brand behind the trade marks and, in doing so, highlighted its value. Metis Partners launched a sales and marketing exercise to generate awareness and interest in the Horrockses brand. In doing this, Metis Partners commissioned a boardroom-friendly, vintage style brand brochure highlighting key applications of the Horrockses brand and its illustrious history. This brochure was circulated to Metis Partners’ international network of buyers as well as a bespoke database of potentially interested parties built through market research. In liaising with media partners, Metis Partners was able to gain broad press coverage, including in industry magazines and mainstream press, such as the Telegraph. Competitive tension was created throughout our established auction process.

The Outcome

Metis Partners received several offers from interested parties. During the negotiation process, Metis Partners successfully negotiated a deal which was substantially higher than the original best offer received. Metis Partners not only negotiated a significant increased offer for assets that have been lying dormant and undervalued, but worked with the administrators lawyers to ensure successful completion and resolve licensing issues.


    • Provision of an end to end service from identification, an auction process through to execution of the sale;
    • Identified and highlighted IP value in a dormant brand where value would normally have been overlooked!
    • Gained press coverage and generated substantial interest.
      • Advised on trade mark licensing issues. 
      • Secured considerable uplift on the original offers made to KPMG. 
      • Facilitated the relaunch of an iconic British brand. 
Image credit: Archive of Art & Design at the V&A by Betty Newmarch