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Retail Acquisitions purchases BHS for £1

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 March 2015

Arcadia’s Sir Philip Green has sold struggling high street chain British Home Stores or BHS to the investment firm Retail Acquisitions Ltd. for £1, as per the BBC.

BHS

Sir Philip, who controls the Arcadia Group and its entities such as TopShop, Evans and Burton, bought the retail chain in 2000. Founded in 1928, by a group of American entrepreneurs, Brixton-based BHS now has around 170 stores with an approximate workforce of 12,000.

Losses like the £69.6m deficit on sales of £675.7m in 2013 impeding earlier deals, Sir Philip somehow managed to sell BHS debt free, piling up property assets between £100m and £200m. According to Sir Philip, the parties have come to an understanding that any amount gained from the sale of assets have to be put back into BHS.

Retail Acquisitions took over the reins of BHS on March 12, stated Arcadia Group. It will also acquire BHS' pension fund that carries a £130m deficit.

Sir Philip commented: "I am pleased that we have found a buyer in Retail Acquisitions Ltd who wants to develop the BHS brand. One of my clear objectives in identifying a purchaser was ensuring their desire to take the business forward."

Created in November 2014 and called Swiss Rock Ventures till recently as per a Companies House filings, Retail Acquisitions has five directors led by recently elected chairman 76-year-old Keith Smith, former director of the broking firm Nabarro Wells.

The directors are former Formula 3000 racer Dominic Chappell, Stephen Bourne, lawyer Edward Parladorio, former senior advisor for HSN Nord Bank Lennart Henningson and Mark Tasker. The management structure at BHS will be the same.

Smith said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into this iconic British high street brand. We are convinced that with strategic and focussed support we will return BHS to profitability, and safeguard the workforce."

"By backing the existing management and investing in their plan, we are confident that we can build upon many of the initiatives already in place. In addition, Retail Acquisitions Ltd will appoint a BHS chairman with significant retail experience and further retail turnaround experts in due course."

Retail Acquisitions has plans to import a high profile figure as the new chairman of BHS.

Image: BHS store in Kirkgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Photo courtsey of Mtaylor848 via Wikipedia.