Sir Phillp Green’s retail empire Arcadia is reportedly on the verge of collapse, placing around 15,000 jobs at risk.
An insider told Sky that the move was “inevitable” following failed talks with a group of potential lenders over a £30m rescue package.
Reports also suggest that online fashion retailer Boohoo would be among the potential bidders for parts of the business, particularly its TopShop brand.
Arcadia currently operates over 500 sites, the majority of which are closed due to government restrictions, but which were set to reopen next week once the national lockdown has lifted.
The retail group currently employs around 15,000 people, having already announced 500 head office job cuts earlier this year.
Green bought the group in 2002 for a sum of £850m, later paying a £1.2bn dividend to Arcadia’s registered owner and his wife, Lady Christina.
A CVA was narrowly agreed for the group last year, forcing Green to pledge a packet of assets worth £400m to the company’s pension scheme.
It is the latest in a series of events which highlight the struggles UK retailers face on the highstreet. It comes as JD sports reportedly entered into talks with advisors this week regarding a deal which would see the brand take full control of struggling department store Debenhams.
A spokesperson for Arcadia told Retail Sector: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses. As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands. The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the Government COVID-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”