High Street

Philip Green considers selling Arcadia to Chinese firm

British retail magnate Sir Philip Green is reportedly in talks to sell part of the Arcadia Group to a Chinese textiles giant.

Reports said that Chinese firm Shandong Ruyi has already held negotiations and looked over the books of the retail conglomerate, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins.

However, it is unclear whether or not Green wants to keep Arcadia’s flagship brands Topshop and Topman and sell the rest of the company.

Shandong Ruyi has been rapidly expanding into Europe in the past few years. The company has acquired a controlling stake in the Swiss luxury leather goods company Bally and also negotiated a 54% controlling stake in the London-listed fashion manufacturer Bagir.

In addition purchased the troubled British heritage brand Aquascutum for £95m last year, and also took a majority stake in the French fashion house SMCP, for €1.3bn (£1.15bn) in 2016.

Meanwhile Arcadia has faced increasing pressure from online rivals such as Boohoo, Asos and Missguided, which are able to operate with higher margins and/or lower price points as they do not have large bricks-and-mortar estates to run.

Arcadia operates 2,800 stores around the world and currently employs 26,000 people. The group could be valued at around £1bn but according to industry analysts a buyer is likely to pay less than half that as the business potentially requires heavy restructuring work.

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