Former Sir Phillip Green’s executive joins bidding race for Bhs

Monday, 09 March 2015
Sir Philip Green is reportedly on the brink of disaggregating his Arcadia fashion empire. The British fashion mogul is said to have been talking to a number of private equity firms which have would approached him recently regarding a sale of his Bhs department store chain.

With the rumour fleshing up, a new face joins the bidding race: Tony Brown, an ex-senior director at Bhs itself. As reported by ‘The Telegraph’, Brown has recently joined the ranks at Alteri Investors, a specialist retail vehicle, was set up late last year by Gavin George, a turnaround expert, in a joint venture with Apollo, a Wall Street-based giant venture capital firm.

Brown has broad experience working within the retail sector, being a well-known name amongst affordable apparel brands such as Bhs, Beals or Peacocks. He also served as chief operating office at 99p Stores.

As reported by the London paper, Brown is understood to have been handling the sale of Bhs personally and was working late into the night this weekend to firm up plans.

Bhs sale deal to be announced anytime soon now

A deal could be announced anytime soon, actually “as soon as this week” as pointed out by many close to the deal. But sources said no exclusivity had yet been agreed over the sale of the business and there was still room for more bidders, reports ‘The Sunday Times’. “It’s not over until it’s over,” said a source familiar with the situation and quoted by ‘This is Money’.

Earlier this year, in January, Green started hinting his intentions to off-load the loss-making retailer. Bhs registered cash losses worth of 21 million pounds in 2014 that build on the 19.3 million pounds in losses a year earlier.

As highlighted by the group, Bhs has been dragging down the Arcadia group now for a while, offsetting the growth of other group’s brands such as Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. The store also has liabilities of around 100m in relation to its pension scheme but is debt free.

It is worth to remember that Green bought up Bhs in 2000 for 200 million pounds. In the past months, Green confirms having had received several approaches and would “explore whether any of these can be brought to a conclusion”.

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