British high street empire Arcadia Group could file for administration as early as Monday after talks with lenders to secure an emergency £30 million loan failed, Sky News reports.
Arcadia’s Topshop and Topman brands are its most valuable assets and could be sold for hundreds of millions of pounds if the insolvency is confirmed, Sky reports.
In a statement, the group owned by controversial businessman Sir Philip Green did not refute that administration filings were a possibility, a contrast to earlier denials of such an outcome when reports of a looming bankruptcy first surfaced earlier this month.
”We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses. As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands,” the retailer said in a statement. “The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the Government COVID-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”
The group, whose other brands include Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, and Evans and Burton, employs around 15,000 people.
A possible contender to put in a bid is the online fast-fashion group Boohoo, which, early on in the pandemic, raised £198 million for new M&A opportunities. It has already snapped up Oasis and Warehouse, which filed for bankruptcy in April as the first wave of pandemic lockdowns pushed the struggling business over the edge.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on November 27, 2020, to include a statement from Arcadia Group.