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Collapsed department store chain BHS likely to find a buyer this week

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 May 2016

Collapsed high street retailer BHS could find a buyer this week, as the administrators have asked the bidding companies to raise their offers to improve the chances of acquiring the chain.

BHS buyer

Administrators are expected to decide on the sale within the next few days, as they have already reviewed several bids in the past one week.

The administrators were quoted by The Financial Times as saying: "We are dealing with a number of interested parties and are hopeful of concluding a sale of the business and assets of BHS next week."

According to a source with knowledge on the matter, the administrators have asked at least one buyer to increase bid amount by "tens of millions".

Other bidders have also been asked to submit their revised bids by 17 May, the publication reported.

The hunt for a potential buyer for BHS has entered its final stages following an increase in the scope of parliamentary enquires into the company's collapse.

The company left behind a £571m pension deficit which will have to be taken care of by a government-mandated rescue fund, reported the publication.

BHS was sold to Retail Acquisitions by Arcadia Group for £1 in March 2015. Retail Acquisitions is a consortium led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

A senior Goldman Sachs banker, Anthony Gutman, who had advised Sir Philip Green on the sale of BHS back then, is likely to be questioned in connection with the sale. The US investment bank said that it had played an only informal role in the transaction.

Earlier this month, Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley evinced interest in acquiring the collapsed chain. He promised to keep all 164 stores open and 11,000 staff intact if he wins the bid.

Yousuf Bhailok, a Preston-based property entrepreneur also showed interest in the bid. He had requested for a loan guarantee from the government, which seems to have been rejected.

BHS runs about 70 stores in Russia and the Middle East, most of which are franchises with local partners.


Image: Collapsed chain BHS might find a buyer soon. Photo: Courtesy of Mtaylor848/Wikipedia.