Boohoo in pole position to scoop up three Arcadia brands

Online fashion retailer Boohoo says it is in “exclusive” talks with the administrators to buy the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands from bankrupt retail group Arcadia.

Sir Philip Green's Arcadia group went into administration last November and the vast majority of the 13,000 employed by the group's 440 shops faced redundancy, as most of the interested buyers seemed to be online players not interested in the properties.

Rival online fashion chain ASOS is currently the front-runner to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

In a short statement to shareholders, Boohoo said the talks with Arcadia's administrators "may or may not result in agreement of a transaction. A further announcement will be made when appropriate."

Earlier this week, Boohoo completed a deal to buy the Debenhams brand and website for £55 million.

But the price did not include any of the retailer's remaining 120 High Street stores or its workforce, resulting in up to 12,000 job losses.

Last year, Boohoo bought the online businesses of Oasis and Warehouse for £5.25 million. That deal followed the one it completed in 2019 to buy the Karen Millen and Coast brands.

Arcadia's administrators had previously requested that final bids for the group's assets be submitted last week, with asset sales expected to be completed before the end of this month.

Arcadia's Evans brand was sold to Australia's City Chic for £23 million last month.

Sir Philip Green, who has an estimated fortune of £930 million, is now under pressure to use his own money to plug an estimated £350 million hole in Arcadia's pension fund, which has about 10,000 members.

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