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Mike Ashley among bidders if Green rejects offer to avert Arcadia collapse

Written by on 30/11/2020

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group says it would be interested in participating in the sale process should Sir Philip Green’s Topshop empire collapse.

The company released a statement to the City on Monday morning to confirm a story by Sky News that it had offered Arcadia Group an emergency £50m loan to avert it calling in the administrators.

Frasers said it was awaiting a “substantive response” to its proposal and terms.

An extract of Mike Ashley's letter to Sir Philip's Arcadia Group
Image: An extract of Mike Ashley’s letter to Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group

Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman revealed on Friday that Arcadia could call in administrators from Deloitte as early as Monday – placing 13,000 jobs at risk – as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on the high street.

Arcadia was struggling from weak sales before the pandemic hit and underwent an emergency restructuring last year.

Any collapse would see Mr Ashley, other retailers and hedge funds begin to circle Sir Philip’s brands in a bid to secure an expansion of their own offerings at a knockdown price from administrators.

Frasers said in its statement: “The company can confirm that it has made an offer and provided draft terms to the Arcadia Group for a loan of up to £50m and is now awaiting a substantive response.

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“Should the company and the Arcadia Group’s efforts to agree an emergency funding package fail and the Arcadia Group enter into administration, the company would be interested in participating in any sale process.”

Arcadia owns the Topshop and Topman brands – its most valuable – and also Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton and Outfit.

The company trades from over 500 stores.

Arcadia acknowledged on Friday it was working on a number of “contingency options” to secure the future of the group’s brands but Mr Ashley’s offer is not expected to be taken up given fierce rivalry between Mr Ashley and Sir Philip over the years.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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