Dominic Chappell has vowed to fight demands from the Pensions Regulator for him to pay millions of pounds towards BHS’ monumental pensions deficit.
Following an arduous process, the regulator secured a £363 million cash payment this week from BHS’ previous former owner Sir Philip Green, who sold the company to Chappell for £1 in March 2015 before its collapse a year later which left a £571 million pension black hole.
Legal proceedings brought against Green from the Pensions Regulator have now ceased, but Chappell and his company Retail Acquisitions is still facing a £17 million bill.
In response, Retail Acquisitions stated: “Any action brought by the Pensions Regulator will be robustly defended because [Retail Acquisitions] did not cause or add to the pension deficit, that shortfall was built up during the previous ownership.
“Dominic Chappell is currently working very hard with the liquidator to recover and preserve nearly £50m, which will benefit the creditors and BHS pensioners.”
Chappell has been accused of carrying out a “systematic plunder” of the former retail giant, which collapsed within just 13 months under his leadership.
Retail Acquisitions also reportedly received £25 million in payments from BHS in that time.
Despite Green agreeing on a settlement to sort the pensions deficit, affecting of 22,000 ex-employees’ pensions, the debacle is not yet over.
The Serious Fraud Office is still considering an investigation into BHS, while both the Insolvency Service and the Financial Reporting Council are continuing to investigate.
Victims of the pension scheme debacle will still see a reduction of about 18 per cent in their pension value, although this has shrunk since Green’s deal from around 25 per cent.