SIR PHILIP TO SELL: A spokeswoman for Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group — of which Topshop is a part of — confirmed Sunday that the firm is in talks about selling its fashion and home high-street chain BHS.
“We have had several approaches on BHS over the past few months. It is now in the company’s plan to explore whether any of these can be brought to a conclusion,” the company said.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The confirmation follows British press reports that Green has been quietly shopping BHS around. According to a report in London’s Sunday Times over the weekend, the 180-store chain has recently attracted takeover attention from retailers including Primark, South African entrepreneur Christoffel Wiese and U.S. hedge fund firm Apollo. As far back as 2008, there were reports that Green planned to off-load the retailer, which he acquired from Storehouse in 2000 for 200 million pounds, or $299.6 million.
When Taveta Investments Ltd., Arcadia’s parent company, reported its full-year results in November, Green said BHS’ performance “remains challenging…with this sector of retail continuing to be very tough.” According to the latest BHS accounts filed with the U.K.’s Companies House, the retailer recorded a net loss of 55.3 million pounds, or $86.3 million in the year ended Aug. 31, 2013, narrowing from a net loss of 82.1 million, or $128.9 million in the previous year. Sales for the period were 675.7 million pounds, or $1.05 billion.