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Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia group collapses into administration

The group has fallen into administration

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire has fallen into administration with 13,000 jobs at risk, administrators have confirmed.

A statement from administrators Deloitte said: ‘No redundancies are being announced today as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade.

‘The Joint Administrators are assessing all options available to the Group. The administrators will be honouring all online orders made over the Black Friday weekend and will continue to be operating all the existing sale channels of the business.’

It comes after plans for an emergency multimillion-pound loan to the group had reportedly fallen through.

Senior sources at the company told the BBC earlier they did not expect a last-minute rescue deal, which had been flagged by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group.

The offer from Frasers Group, which runs Sports Direct and House of Fraser, amounted to a £50 million loan, Mr Ashley’s company confirmed.

Frasers Group said: ‘The company can confirm that it has made an offer and provided draft terms to the Arcadia Group for a loan of up to £50 million and is now awaiting a substantive response.

‘Should the Company and the Arcadia Group’s efforts to agree an emergency funding package fail and the Arcadia Group enter into administration, the company would be interested in participating in any sale process.’

Sky News quoted Chris Wootton, Frasers’ chief financial officer, as saying: “We hope that Sir Philip Green and the Arcadia Group will contact us today to discuss how we can support them and help save as many jobs as possible.”

Arcadia had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30 million loan to help shore up its finances.

It is the latest retailer to have been hammered by the closure of stores in the face of coronavirus, with rivals including Debenhams, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and Oasis Warehouse all sliding into insolvency since the pandemic struck in March.

The group has more than 500 retail stores across the UK with the majority of these currently shut as a result of England’s second national lockdown, which will end next week.

Earlier this year, Arcadia revealed plans to cut around 500 of its 2,500 head office jobs amid a restructure in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

More follows.

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