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British fashion retailer Jaeger goes into administration

FILE PICTURE: The Jaeger store logo is seen outside their store in central London September 8, 2009. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

(Reuters) - Fashion retailer Jaeger, known for its classic British clothing ranges, has gone into administration, the administrators said in a statement, putting nearly 700 jobs at risk.

Jaeger, founded in 1884, is famous for its woolen coats and suits, but the company has struggled in the past few years to stand out in a fiercely competitive fashion retailing market.

The appointment of the administrators, AlixPartners, was made at the request of Jaeger's directors after attempts to sell the business were unsuccessful, the statement said.

"Regrettably despite an extensive sales process it has not been possible to identify a purchaser for the business," joint administrator Peter Saville said in the statement.

Jaeger has approximately 680 staff in its 46 stores, 63 concessions and head office in London and logistics center in Kings Lynn in eastern England.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday company had filed a notice to enter a form of creditor protection to buy it some breathing space after investment group Better Capital sold the retailer's debt to another company.

Jaeger provided clothing for Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition and was famous for dressing film stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. It went into administration in 2012 before being bought by Better Capital.

The administrators said the company would continue to trade while they worked with all stakeholders to find the most appropriate route forward.

(Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)