// Authentic Brands reportedly in discussions over taking over both Debenhams & Arcadia Group
// US firm snapped up stakes in Brooks Brothers and Forever 21 earlier this year
// Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group also said to be racing to build an offer for Debenhams’ web business
US retail firm Authentic Brands is reported to be in discussions with administrators at both Arcadia Group and Debenhams, according to The Telegraph.
City sources cited by the paper said Authentic Brands is believed to have “deep pockets” and is considering a bid for the department store chain and Sir Philip Green retail empire.
Arcadia Group fell into administration on November 30, placing over 13,000 jobs at risk, with suppliers reportedly left in the dark on whether they would receive any money owed to them.
Joint administrators at Deloitte, Daniel Butters and Gavin Maher, were drafted to manage Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Evans among others.
On Friday The Guardian reported that Deloitte will look for as much as £200 million for the Topshop fascia alone.
Developments at Arcadia Group will have a knock-on effect for Debenhams, as it is the biggest operator of concessions in Debenhams’ stores.
Arcadia Group’s fashion brands accounted for an estimated £75 million of Debenhams’ annual sales before the pandemic, according to The Sunday Times.
New York-based brand management company Authentic Brands counts up-market retailers Barneys and Juicy Couture in its group, and snapped up Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers already this year.
It is thought founder and chairman Jamie Salter has built up a reserve of more than $1 billion (£756 million) in order to acquire struggling businesses.
Elsewhere, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group is said to be racing to assemble a bid for Debenhams’ web business, according to The Mail on Sunday.
City sources reportedly told the paper that Ashley was in discussions to buy Debenhams’ web business for around £500 million.
“There’s very little time left to rescue the business. But without at least 30 or 40 of the 124 stores, this might not look very much like a rescue at all,” one City source told The Mail on Sunday.