Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire reported to be close to securing £30m in fresh funding to shore up the business after Christmas trading was severely disrupted due to the second lockdown in England.
According to a number of reports the Topshop to Burton empire had been in talks with a number of parties and was close to securing a deal this weekend. Accountancy firm Deloitte is understood to be working on a future plan for the fashion retail group, which trades from 550 sites and employs 15,000 staff.
According to The Sunday Times one of the options on the table was a possible administration that would allow the group to continue to trade while buyers were found for its brands, but Arcadia has denied this is the case and insists the cash was needed to support the business as a result of the second lockdown.
“It is not true that administrators are about to be appointed. Clearly, the second UK lockdown presents a further challenge for all retailers and we are taking all appropriate steps to protect our employees and other stakeholders from its consequences.
“All our stores in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have now reopened, and we are continuing to trade online through our own channels as well as through those of our partners,” a statement for the company said.
Arcadia announced 500 job losses at its London HQ as a result of the first lockdown and had at that time placed most of its staff on furlough, in common with many retailers. It is also understood the Burton’s former headquarters at Corinthian House on Tottenham Court Road have been put up for sale for around £70m.
The group had been trading under a CVA when the COVID-19 hit, having secured approval from creditors for the deal in June 2019. To win the backing of the Pension Protection Fund for the CVA Arcadia granted its scheme security over its Topshop flagship on Oxford Street and Corinthian House and Sir Philip is said to be close to securing the sale of the latter.