An Expensive End To 50 Years In Retail

by MR Magazine Staff

Philip Green is staring at an ignominious end to his 50-year retail career. The billionaire is in talks to sell his Arcadia Group, the owner of Topshop, to textile giant Shandong Ruyi, according to the Sunday Times. On Monday, Arcadia denied the story, saying neither Green nor any director had met with the Chinese company, and that the group wasn’t in talks with any party about a disposal. Either way, the choice he faces is unpalatable. A sale would be expensive for Green because the conglomerate has big pension liabilities relative to its potential value. But the alternative — heavy investment across his businesses — would be equally unattractive to him. Topshop had an enterprise value of 2 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) in 2012, when Green sold a 25 percent stake in the chain to U.S. private equity group Leonard Green & Partners. Read more at Bloomberg.