Former board members of the company that briefly owned BHS before its collapse are reportedly being questioned by The Insolvency Service as part of its investigation into the high street giant’s downfall.
Stephen Bourne and Mark Tasker stepped down from the Retail Acquisitions board the £1 purchase of BHS by Dominic Chappell, who heads up the company, was completed.
The two board members, who were advisors to Chappell, were reportedly paid £387,500 each for their work in acquiring the department store chain.
The Insolvency Service is in the process of investigating period between BHS being sold in March 2015 and entering administration in April this year.
It is also understood that other members of the Retail Acquisitions consortium are also being questioned.
The latest development in the fallout of BHS’ collapse comes a week after Sir Phillip Green – who owned the chain for 15 years until he sold it to Chappell last year – released a statement apologising for the £571 million pension black hole which emerged after the retailer’s collapse.
Green said he was working “daily” to find a solution to the problem that affects 11,000 former BHS employees.
Frank Field, Green’s sparring partner and the MP who co-led the government’s investigation on BHS, welcomed his apology.
“But a major barrier to settlement is not the complications, although there are plenty, but a willingness to put enough money into that settlement which ensures that no pensioner is worse off than the day Sir Philip took over BHS,” Field said.
Meanwhile Al Mana, the Qatari-based firm which bought the BHS brand – including the global intellectual property rights, international franchising business and domain names – is preparing to revive the 88-year-old retail brand as an online-only store.