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JD Sports leads race to acquire Arcadia warehouse

Lauretta Roberts
01 March 2021

Having lost out to ASOS in the race to acquire Arcadia's flagship brands Topshop and Topman, JD Sports is favourite to land the collapsed fashion chain's warehouse in Daventry.

According to Sky News the sports group could pay between £60m and £90m for the Northamptonshire logistics centre, which is understood to have attracted a large number of bids. Online giants such as Amazon, eBay and Boohoo are all said to have been interested given the high demand for warehousing space during the pandemic.

While a deal has yet to be done, if it does happen, it would trigger a £50m loan repayment to Sir Philip Green's family, after the retail tycoon issued the loan secured against the Daventry site last year.

The last remaining large asset from Arcadia to be sold is the building which houses its flagship store at 314 Oxford Street. The sale of the site is being handled separately from the administration of the group and any profits from the sale are set to help plug the hole in the group's pension fund. However, since Arcadia took out a £310m loan against the building, which will need to be paid back first, there may be little profit to be had.

All of Arcadia's brands have now been sold with ASOS taking Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge in a £265m deal (plus a further £65m for stock), Boohoo taking Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis for £25m and Australia's City Chic Collective taking Evans for £23m.

None of the brand sales included physical retail stores though ASOS says it is interesting in trying to secure the lease for 314 Oxford Street in partnership with a third party, though it has said it is not interested in buying the building outright.

JD Sports had partnered with Authentic Brands in a bid to buy Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge in a deal that would have seen JD operate the stores in the UK on behalf of the US group. However they were outbid in the end by ASOS, which was keen to secure the brands having had the rights to sell them online since 2019.

Arcadia collapsed into administration at the end of November having failed to secure emergency funding to keep the business afloat during the pandemic.

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