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Aquascutum's Chinese owner pays off closely watched debt

Luxury-brand empire stays intact but pressure remains on Shandong Ruyi

Pedestrians walk past an Aquascutum building in central London. The UK-based luxury clothing manufacturer and retailer is owned by China's Shandong Ruyi.

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG -- The wide-ranging global apparel empire built by China's Shandong Ruyi Group appears intact for now after the company said it had paid off a closely watched debt.

In a multibillion buying spree over the past four years, the privately owned Chinese textile company has taken control of labels including Swiss shoe brand Bally, Japanese suit brand Renown, French luxury brand Sandro and British trench coat maker Aquascutum. It has also taken control of stretch fabric maker Lycra Co. and invested in Pakistani power assets.

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