Alan Lewis, the owner of coat maker Crombie, is in early talks about a possible takeover bid for troubled luxury brand Aquascutum, according to reports.

The Financial Times quoted Lewis as saying that Crombie was "looking with interest" at the disposal of Aquascutum by current owner Renown, which is based in Japan.

He told the newspaper that any possibility of a deal would depend on a more detailed analysis of Aquascutum's UK and European business.

Aquascutum's 340 staff are currently under consultation by the company, usually a precursor to sizeable redundancies, after doubts emerged over a possible takeover of the company by Hong Kong's YGM Trading.

Lewis hinted that YGM's interest in the company's Asian activities could be a good fit with Crombie's interest in its UK and European business.

Japan's Renown is looking either to sell or restructure Aquascutum in the current economic downturn, after the parent company cut 30% of its Japanese workforce in an effort to return to profit.

A management buyout by former Aquascutum chief executive Kim Winser was earlier rejected by Renown, leading to Winser's immediate resignation.

Aquascutum declined to comment on the reports.