Sir Philip Green’s wife has been asked to shed light on questions surrounding the businesses owned by the family in light of the BHS fallout.
In a public letter sent to Lady Tina Green yesterday, the chairmen of the ongoing inquiry into the collapse of the former British high street giant – MPs Iain Wright and Frank Field – asked for further details about the family’s business.
They wanted details on companies registered in her name overseas, as well as an explanation of Sir Philip’s role in their operation and a list of shareholders.
Based in the tax haven of Monaco, Lady Green allegedly made tens of millions of pounds in profits after her billionaire husband sold BHS to Dominic Chappell for just £1 last year.
This left employees with a £571m pension black hole.
“During the hearings of our BHS inquiries, a whole array of further questions have been raised about how a big high-street name with 11,000 staff was sold for a £1 to someone with no experience of retail,” Mr Wright said.
“The evidence so far points to a complex and very opaque web of privately-owned family businesses which helped make the deal possible. These complicated arrangements make it very difficult to trace where all the funds have gone.
“We are keen to follow the money and look forward to Lady Green in her capacity as owner and ultimate beneficiary of these companies writing to us to explain some of these arrangements and to set out what income her businesses have received from BHS.”
The public letter comes after Sir Philip was grilled for six hours during the inquiry last week, where he admitted he sold the business to the “wrong guy” and apologised to staff for its collapse.
“Nothing is more sad than how this has ended and I hope during the morning you will hear that there was no intent on my part for anything to be like this and didn’t need to be like this,” he said.
“I just want to apologise to all the BHS people who are involved in this and have been involved.”
However, Sir Philip has not yet addressed questions about the sale of BHS and how its pension deficit became so bad.
The billionaire businessman’s Arcadia Group also owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.
Lady Green has until June 28 to respond to the inquiry committee’s open letter.