Details have emerged on the £14 million legal challenge Retail Acquisitions wants to bring to the court again Sir Philip Green and his Arcadia Group retail empire.
The company owned by three-time former bankrupt Dominic Chappell has previously indicated plans to take Green to court, but it has only just been revealed that the case would be in relation to the sale of BHS’ headquarters.
Chappell said Green abandoned on an earlier agreement to share the proceeds of the £35 million sale of BHS’ headquarters, known as Marylebone House, which would have boosted the collapsed department store chain’s balance sheet by £8.5 million.
However, rather than sell Marylebone House, it was transferred within the Green family’s investment – from the Wilton Equity firm under Green’s wife’s name in the British Virgin Islands to Taveta Investments, the holding company for Arcadia at a purchase price of £53 million.
While details have emerged that Green has provided £10 million in compensation to Chappell to months after he bought it for £1 in 2015, Chappell is reportedly still proceeding with the legal case and suing Green for the loss of proceeds on Marylebone House.
However, a spokesman for Green has said there was never a contract between the retail billionaire and Chappell in relation to Marylebone House.
The news comes as Chappell fights a winding-up order against Retail Acquisitions in the High Court, which was adjourned yesterday for two months.
The order was brought to the courts by one of BHS’ administrators Duff & Phelps.
The firm argued there was “overwhelming evidence” Chappell’s company was insolvent and the wind up should proceed in order to seize Retail Acquisitions and investigate whether Chappell borrowed £8.4 million from BHS during its downfall, and whether he has paid £2.4 million back as previously stated.
A Retail Acquisitions spokesman yesterday said the winding-up order was an attempt by Green, as Duff & Phelps were his preferred administrators, to “force [them] into liquidation thus limiting the company’s ability to make a £14 million-plus claim against him and/or his related companies”.
The spokesman added that remaining solvent would allow it to continue to assist BHS’ other administrator, FRP, to recover £35 million which is currently in dispute.
The Pensions Regulator has also launched enforcement action against both of BHS’s former owners to plug the retailer’s £571m pension deficit.