// Asos named as new contender in the race for Arcadia’s Topshop
// Online-only retailer could pay up to £250m for the fashion brand
// Billionaire Issa brothers Zuber and Mohsin also said to be considering a bid
Asos and Zuber and Mohsin Issa, the two brothers set to buy Asda, have emerged as the surprise contenders to acquire Arcadia’s Topshop.
The online fashion retailer is thought to be in the running to buy Arcadia’s biggest brand from administrators, according to a report by Sky News.
Asos is said to the in ‘pole position’ to buy the brand for more than £250 million, according to Sky News.
- Next pulls out of race to buy Arcadia Group from administration
- Arcadia administration update: 714 job cuts & 31 store closures
- Next in pole position to buy Arcadia Group from administration
On Friday Next announced it had pulled out of the race, stating that it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”, and clearing the way at the time for Authentic Brands, G-III Apparel and Shein to place their final offers.
Asos already sells Topshop items on its online-only platform and it’s believed the ecommerce giant is not in talks about buying any Topshop stores.
If a bid were successful, it would likely raise concerns over the future of Topshop’s stores and possible redundancies for its thousands of staff.
According to insiders speaking to Sky News the pure-play retailer is also thought to be keen to acquire stablemate brands Miss Selfridge as well as Topshop and Topman.
A source close to Asos cautioned Sky News on Saturday that a deal had not been struck and that there was no certainty that an agreement would be reached.
Elsewhere, the billionaire Issa brothers were also linked to a possible bid for Topshop, according to This Is Money.
Zuber and Mohsin Issa have reportedly been holding secret talks to buy the fashion brand for the past fortnight and are believed to have launched a late bid last week.
According to This Is Money, the Issa brothers have drawn up plans to put the fashion label into their Asda superstores alongside its George At Asda range.
‘The brothers have big plans for Asda and Topshop would be a great way of attracting in new customers that aren’t natural George shoppers or haven’t been in Asda for a while,’ said one source with knowledge of the auction process cited by This Is Money.
Administrators Deloitte have been looking for buyers for some or all of Arcadia, after a slump in sales caused by the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in its collapse.
The demise of the empire comes after the collapse of retailers such as Cath Kidston, Oasis and Warehouse and Debenhams.
Topshop is considered Arcadia’s flagship brand, and a sale could fetch about £200 million.