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Sir Philip Green no longer a billionaire and Arcadia "worthless", says rich list

The Industry London
12 May 2019

Sir Philip Green is estimated to have lost his billionaire status with the retail tycoon’s fortune believed to have halved in a year because of a pension black hole in his empire.

The Sunday Times Rich List has his fortune free-falling £1.05bn in a year to £950m.

But the plummet still places Sir Philip and wife Tina at 156th on the list, down from joint 66th some 12 months earlier.

The Arcadia Group – which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – was valued as worthless in this year’s list, as the company copes with a pension debt which hit £565m.

The couple’s stake in the company was last year valued at £750m, while the compilers also removed £300m from their worth to allow the shoring up of the deficit.

With his wealth peaking at almost £5bn in 2007, it is the first time in 17 years that Sir Philip has not been listed as a billionaire.

Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green poses outside Buckingham Palace, London, after receiving a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.

Robert Watts, who compiled the list, said he struggles to envisage the tycoon returning to the “upper echelons”.

“Sir Philip Green may have clung on to his knighthood, but we can no longer justify his status as one of the UK’s billionaires,” Watts said.

“This is the first time since 2002 he has not been in that top tier of the UK’s super rich individuals.”

The devaluation comes after sustained criticism against Sir Philip and calls for him to lose his knighthood.

He was lambasted over the collapse of BHS, affecting 11,000 jobs, 19,000 pension holders and leaving a £571m in the pension scheme.

The businessman, who sold the department store chain to Dominic Chappell for £1 before it plunged into administration, agreed to pay £363m towards the deficit.

Sir Philip has also faced a slew of allegations, including of groping a female executive and making a racial slur at an employee.

The Croydon-born entrepreneur denied his behaviour was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.

The newspaper’s list features a record 151 billionaires with a combined wealth of nearly £525bn, a 9.2% rise on last year.

Images: Press Association.

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