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Boohoo confirms exclusive talks to acquire Arcadia brands

Lauretta Roberts
29 January 2021

Boohoo has confirmed it is in "exclusive talks" to acquire the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands from Sir Philip Green's collapsed Arcadia empire.

The Manchester online fashion group issued a brief statement to the stock market this morning confirming last night's reports that it was close to landing the brands.

"The Group confirms that it is in exclusive discussions with the Administrators of Arcadia over the acquisition of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton (excluding HIIT) brands. These discussions may or may not result in agreement of a transaction. A further announcement will be made when appropriate," it said.

Rival online fashion group ASOS is in exclusive talks to acquire the Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands meaning that if the two transactions go ahead it is likely that all Arcadia stores will disappear from the high street, with the possible exception of Topshop's flagship store on Oxford Street, which ASOS is understood to be interested in trying to secure. The lease for the store is being marketed separately from the brand.

Before it fell into administration at the end of November 2020, Arcadia operated around 450 stores and employed in the region of 13,000 staff. Most of those jobs are also likely to be lost.

Earlier this week Boohoo secured the website and brand of collapsed department store Debenhams, which began a liquidation process in December. That means that Debenhams near 120 stores will also be closed for good. Boohoo intends to build a multi-brand online entity around the Debenhams.com name, which will take it into the new territories of beauty and homewares.

Boohoo paid £55m for the Debenhams brand and website and is understood to be bidding in the region of £25m for Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins. It is believed ASOS has bid more than £250m for Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge. Before Christmas the Evans plus size brand was sold to Australia's City Chic Collective for £23m in a deal that did not include its stores.

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