Arcadia is not for sale, Sir Philip Green insists

21 February, 2018, 15:14 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Sir Phillip Green sits Kate Moss with her sister Lottie at the Unique by Topshop autumn  winter 2014/15 collection shown at London Fashion Week

In a statement, Arcadia said a story in The Sunday Times claiming Sir Philip is in talks to offload all or part of the Topshop-owner is "totally false".

The move would see the billionaire quit the United Kingdom high street.

According to The Sunday Times, Chinese textiles manufacturer Shandong Ruyi has been in talks with Green about purchasing the business, after talks with quoted USA brands owner Oxford Industries fell through. Sir Philip's Arcadia group, having brands like Burton, Dorothy Perkins has 2,800 stores worldwide.

Shandong Ruyi has been expanding in Europe.

The Work and Pensions Committee last year investigated the sale and subsequent collapse of BHS, which Sir Philip sold to an investment vehicle called Retail Acquisitions Ltd in 2015 before it went bust the following year.

It is understood all of the Arcadia brands, including its flagship Topshop, are suffering sales declines.

The move risks re-opening a long-running feud between Sir Philip and the Labour MP, whose Commons committee a year ago investigated the sale and subsequent collapse of BHS. The group has a deficit of around £1 billion on a "buy out" basis, according to The Sunday Times.

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As well as Shandong Ruyi, Green is said to have had talks with United States brands owner Oxford Industries. The Greens' net worth also fell by over £400 million over the past year due to the collapse of BHS, which they owned until 2015, and declining High Street sales.

It is understood Arcadia's two pension funds had a combined deficit of nearly GBP1bn in March 2016 on a "buyout" basis, which takes into account the cost of securing the benefits in full with an insurer.

Mr Field said the committee was forced to take action because the Pensions Regulator did not have the powers to take firms to task.

Sir Philip said that neither he "nor any of the directors of Arcadia have ever met or had any contact with Shandong Ruyi and they have never been to the Arcadia offices as was suggested to look at the company's books", adding: "We have the greatest respect for them [Shandong Ruyi] as an organisation, ..."

Sir Philip Green attends the TopShop Spring/Summer 2018 show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain September 17, 2017.

Sir Philip Green and the board members of his Arcadia Group retail empire have denied reports that they were plotting to sell the company.

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