High Street

Arcadia owed creditors £800m upon collapse

A pension deficit of £510m reportedly conflated the firm’s debts

Arcadia, the owner of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, and Miss Selfridge, reportedly owed £800m to its creditors upon its collapse in November.

According to documents seen by the Guardian, the group’s debts were propped up by a pension deficit of £510m when Big Four accountancy firm Deloitte were called in to act as administrators.

The combined deficit of the fashion retailer’s three pension schemes sits £150m over previous estimates, despite the Green family paying £100m into the schemes over the past two years.

Trustees at the pension scheme said, via the Guardian, that £180m out of an agreed £210m has been received from the sale of Arcadia’s assets, adding that through the funds they can offer greater payouts than the industry-backed pensions lifeboat.

The documents reportedly highlighted that trade creditors were owed £163m, while landlords and tax authorities lost £36.5m and £44.2m respectively.

Out of the £800m owed by the group, £219m can be traced to its Topshop and Topman operations.

However, with available assets of £42.4m the company’s creditor losses are slightly offset to £176m.

Arcadia’s administrators have also commenced the closure process for three of the group’s distribution centres, placing over 1,000 jobs at risk.

Jake O’Malley, an organiser for the GMB union also told the paper that the body will “fight tooth and nail” to ensure workers receive “what they deserve”. 

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