// Next withdraws from race to purchase Arcadia Group from administration
// The fashion retailer said it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”
// Administrators Deloitte have been looking for buyers for some or all of Arcadia
Next has pulled out of the race to acquire Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group from administration, clearing the way for Authentic Brands, G-III Apparel and Shein to place their final offers.
A consortium comprising Next and US investment firm Davidson Kempner Capital Management, have withdrawn from a process being run by Arcadia Group’s administrator.
Next said it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”.
- Arcadia administration update: 714 job cuts & 31 store closures
- Next in pole position to buy Arcadia Group from administration
The news of Next and Davidson Kempner’s interest in Green’s empire was reported over the weekend, which would have seen Next take a minority stake.
Arcadia fell into administration last year, putting 13,000 jobs at risk across 500 outlets.
Earlier this week, Arcadia – which also owns Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burton – said it will close more than two dozen stores by the end of the month, with 700 staff expected to lose their jobs.
Interested parties had been asked to submit bids for the whole company or individual brands at the start of this week.
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.
Evans, its plus-size clothing brand, has already been sold to City Chic Collective, an Australian retailer, for £23 million.
Shein has tabled an offer worth well over £300 million for Topshop and Topman.
Other bidders include Boohoo, Asos and Authentic Brands Group, which is working with JD Sports.
It has been estimated that Arcadia’s pension fund has a £350 million deficit and Green is facing renewed pressure to plug it with his own money, just as he did so with the BHS pension deficit after it collapsed in 2016.