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Bidders given mid January deadline on Philip Green’s Arcadia asset sale

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Lockdowns have prompted Arcadia’s administrator to accelerate the sale of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed retail empire, with suitors being given a deadline of January 18 to make final bids.

Deloitte is understood to have had thirty expressions of interest, but the frontrunners have been whittled down to as many as five.

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The potential buyers for Arcadia’s Topshop and Topman business are thought to be led by: Boohoo, the online fashion specialist; Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group; Next, bidding jointly with Davidson Kempner, an American investment firm; and Shein, an online Chinese fast-fashion retailer. It is unclear whether Authentic Brands, the American owner of Juicy Couture and Barneys New York, has made it to the second stage.

Uncertainty about a return to relatively normal high street shopping has prompted advisers to try to strike a deal as soon as possible. It is thought that all parties are focused on acquiring Topshop and Topman, with bids above the £200 million price-tag. Topshop is seen as the jewel in Arcadia’s portfolio.

Arcadia fell into administration in November, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. Its demise capped a fall from grace for Sir Philip, 68, who was knighted in 2006 for his services to retail but who has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years, including the collapse of BHS, the department stores chain.

Last month Deloitte sold Evans, Arcadia’s plus-sized fashion brand, to City Chic, of Australia, for £23 million.

https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk

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