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Boohoo confirms talks to buy three Arcadia brands

·2-min read
STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: A man walks past a Dorothy Perkins and Burtons store on December 07, 2020 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.  Sir Philip Green's retail empire, Arcadia is facing collapse, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.  (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Arcadia employed as many as 13,000 people across almost 50 UK stores when it collapsed in November last year. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Online fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO.L) has confirmed that it is exclusive talks with Arcadia Group to buy three of Sir Philip Green’s retail brands.

According to Sky News Boohoo is leading the race to snap up Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis for an estimated £25m ($34m).

Any deal would be for the brands and not the high street stores, and could wrap up Green’s remaining retail interests and the closure of all 444 stores in his retail empire.

Boohoo shareholders said the talks with Arcadia's administrators "may or may not result in agreement of a transaction.” Adding that "a further announcement will be made when appropriate.”

The news comes as Boohoo sealed a deal to buy the Debenhams brand and website for £55m earlier this week. But, the deal does not include the retailers remaining 118 shops leaving around 12,000 jobs at the 242-year-old department store at risk.

The Topshop owner employed as many as 13,000 people across almost 50 UK stores when it collapsed in November last year.

Boohoo’s rival, Asos (ASC.L) is the frontrunner to acquire its Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Topman brands, as well as fitness brand HIIT. Asos will pay more than £250m ($343m) for Topshop, according to the broadcaster.

Arcadia's Evans brand was sold to Australia's City Chic for £23m last month.

READ MORE: Asos confirms talks to buy TopShop, Miss Selfridge brands

The sale process also piqued the interest of Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group (FRAS.L) and Marks and Spencer (MKS.L).

Prior to its collapse, Arcadia declined a £50m lifeline from Frasers Group which was offered in November. It called the move a “publicity stunt”, heightening the rivalry between retail tycoons Green and Ashley.

Arcadia employed as many as 13,000 people across almost 50 UK stores when it collapsed.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen many firms buckle under the economic pressure it has caused, especially as many high street brands were already struggling pre-pandemic due to declining footfall, increased online competition and rising business rates.

Green built the company into a retail Goliath through a series of acquisitions in the early 2000s. At its height, the company’s brands were a stalwart of high streets across the country and TopShop — Arcadia’s crown jewel — was fronted by model Kate Moss. Arcadia’s success helped Green amass a fortune of almost £5bn at his height.

However in recent years, Green was embroiled in the scandal surrounding the collapse of BHS, which he sold for £1 in 2015. MPs voted through a non-binding motion calling for his knighthood to be stripped and Green ultimately agreed to pay £363m to address a shortfall in BHS’ pension scheme.

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