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Philip Green's retail empire seeks £30m loan to stay afloat

LaToya Harding
·2-min read
An entrance to the Topshop store is pictured at the Oxford Street, in London
Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Evans and Dorothy Perkins, has approached a number of potential lenders to shore up its finances. Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia Group is in a race to secure a fresh £30m ($23m) loan in a bid to keep the company afloat.

The beleaguered fashion group, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Evans and Dorothy Perkins, has approached a number of potential lenders to shore up its finances, Sky News first reported.

It comes as the company continues to suffer from the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and a second UK lockdown that has ruined pre-Christmas trading plans.

Talks are reportedly ongoing with several parties and a source close to one of the parties approached told Sky they believed that an agreement could be secured this weekend.

However, if the company does not secure funding it could be placed into administration. According to the Sunday Times advisers from accountancy firm Deloitte are understood to be intensifying their work on a plan that would place Arcadia into a so-called trading administration.

This move would allow the directors to operate the company while they attempt to sell Arcadia’s brands separately.

Arcadia, which employs about 15,000 members of staff, has stores open in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but the majority of its outlets are closed in England due to the one-month lockdown measures until 2 December.

READ MORE: UK retail footfall plummets further with more job losses on horizon

In September, the Sunday Times reported that high street tycoon Green had put Burton’s former headquarters in central London up for sale for around £80m.

Arcadia appointed agents at BNP Paribas to market Corinthian House, the five-storey office block on Tottenham Court Road.

Arcadia’s pension fund took security over the building last year as part of a deal to win the support of the Pension Protection Fund for a controversial restructuring, the newspaper said.

Earlier this year Arcadia made around 500 head office job cuts as it was hit by the first lockdown. It also paused monthly payments to its pension scheme during the first wave but has since resumed them.

The former owner of collapsed BHS has also furloughed more than 14,000 of its staff.

Before the pandemic ripped into its balance sheet, Arcadia was already struggling with declining footfall, rising business rates and increased competition from online shopping giants such as Asos (ASC.L) and Boohoo (BOO.L).

Over 18 months ago, the company secured a creditors’ approval deal to restructure its finances.

Arcadia Group declined to comment to Yahoo Finance on Sunday.

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