Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: Mike Ashley offers £50m emergency loan
- Introduction: Philip Green’s Arcadia on the brink
- Fears over pensions black hole
- November has been best month for markets ever
My colleague Zoe Wood has analysed how Sir Philip Green’s empire, which once dominated the high street, is now teetering on the edge of administration.
The 68-year-old businessman has been trying to extricate himself from Arcadia without loss of face for some time. The company only narrowly avoided administration last year when landlords backed a restructuring plan that involved closing 50 shops and shedding 1,000 jobs.
In the coming days Arcadia is expected to enter “light-touch” trading administration, which means management retains control of the day-to-day running of the business while administrators seek buyers for all or parts of the company. Struggling department store chain Debenhams took this route in April, although a rescue deal is still to be finalised.
Green’s abrasive style didn’t win him many friends in the boardroom, but it has won grudging respect. “He is one of the best dealmakers I’ve seen,” recalled one senior retailer.
I don’t think he is a particularly good retailer; he is good at buying and selling. He ended up being a victim of himself. When you want to screw everybody over all the time … nobody wants to buy anything from you.”
Some early news –Frasers Group, the retail group formally known as Sports Direct, has confirmed that it has offered Arcadia up to £50m of emergency funding.
Frasers, run by Mike Ashley, also says it would be interested in taking part in any sale process – should Arcadia fall into administration.
Frasers Group notes recent press reports concerning the potential provision of emergency funding by the Company to the Arcadia Group.
The Company can confirm that it has made an offer and provided draft terms to the Arcadia Group for a loan of up to £50 million and is now awaiting a substantive response.
Mike Ashley straight out of the gate with a £50m emergency loan from Frasers Group (#FRAS) to Arcadia. If a rescue deal fails, Frasers ‘would be interested in participating in any sale process’.https://t.co/XFRckVqIVu
Sport’s Direct owners – Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group – says it “would be interested in participating in any sale process”
if Arcadia enters administration.
Least surprising news of the day from Frasers Group:
“Should…Arcadia Group enter into administration, the company would be interested in participating in any sale process”
However, his offer has been angrily dismissed as a ‘publicity stunt’ by sources close to Sir Philip.
One said: ‘Sir Philip is not keen to jump into bed with a chancer like Mike Ashley.’