LONDON — Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green is negotiating to purchase a large chunk of debt from Icelandic company Baugur Group.
If successful, Green will get direct control of British fashion brands including Oasis, Karen Millen, Principles, Warehouse and Shoe Studio.
Green, whose retail group Arcadia owns Topshop, on Sunday told WWD he has been in negotiations since Thursday with principals from Baugur, a victim of the banking collapse in Iceland. Green said Baugur owes the major Icelandic banks “well in excess of $2 billion,” although he would not disclose how much of the debt he intends to buy, or how much he is prepared to pay.
Any deal would likely be done early this week, Green added.
“Baugur came to see me Thursday night, and we have been working since then. I do not want to see these businesses fail. It is not helpful to anybody, and very bad for the industry,” he said. “We understand these businesses, and there are staffing and supply synergies with Arcadia.”
Green said that if a deal does go through, it will be financed “with my own family money.” The Financial Times over the weekend reported Green is in talks with Baugur. Last week, in response to a question about the global credit crunch, Green told WWD that Arcadia had no specific leverage, and that he was in a position to make a sizable acquisition without help from the banks.
On Sunday, Baugur UK chairman Jón Asgeir Jóhannesson told Icelandic television that selling the group’s debts to Green, even at “fire sale prices,” would be better than letting its British companies fail.
In addition to its investments in some of Britain’s best known specialty chains, Baugur holds minority stakes in Saks Fifth Avenue, Matthew Williamson, PPQ, and the department store chain House of Fraser. As Iceland’s financial crisis has spiraled over the past few weeks, with three of the country’s banks being nationalized, speculation has swirled in the British press over the future of Baugur’s businesses.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)