The mystery buyers of Canadian fashion retail chain Fairweather are a leading men's clothing retailer and a frozen dessert manufacturer, newspaper reports claimed on Thursday.

According to sources quoted in an article in the Financial Post, the 71-store chain has been snapped up for $20 million in a partnership between Isaac Benitah, president of International Clothiers, and Michael Serruya, co-chairman of CoolBrands and president of Yogen Fruez.

Just last week, court-appointed interim receivers Richter and Partners confirmed that it had picked a buyer from a pool of bidders but would not disclose the company's name.

They added that the banner would remain the same and employees would be relatively unaffected.

According to people close to the deal, Michael Gold, owner of Stitches, a bargain unisex clothing retailer with around 200 outlets in Canada, is also expected to play a significant role in steering the future of the last retail asset of insolvent Dylex Ltd.

The insiders told the Financial Post that the group is interested in expanding Fairweather beyond its current store base, but will focus initially on fine-tuning the chain's merchandise mix.

The deal, which is subject to court approval, is expected to be finalised within the next few weeks. No official announcement was forthcoming from either of the rumoured interested parties.

International Clothiers is a value-priced men's wear retailer with 41 stores across Canada and 60 Randy River stores, among other banners. CoolBrands, formerly known as Yogen Fruez World-Wide Inc, has 5,000 franchised frozen yoghurt outlets in North America and 80 other countries.


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