Belfast Telegraph

Buying BHS for £1 was a 'bit of a punt' MPs are told

By Ravender Sembhy

The man who acquired BHS for £1 from billionaire Sir Philip Green was taking a "punt" on the successful turnaround of the firm, MPs have been told.

Andrew Frangos of Cornhill Capital, the company tasked with finding funding for twice bankrupt Dominic Chappell, said it was "a bit of a punt" when assessing whether his proposals for the retailer and his wider ambitions were realistic.

Mr Frangos added: "We're interacting with Dominic, we're thinking this is hugely ambitious, is it real, does it have a realistic chance of success? For us, it was a bit of a punt."

Mr Chappell's ambitions also included buying other retailers in Switzerland and the UK, MPs were told.

MPs from the Pensions and Business committees are investigating events surrounding the collapse of BHS, which fell into administration in April, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and leaving a £571m pension fund black hole. The company has four stores in Northern Ireland.

Earlier, MPs heard that BHS's pension trustees had "significant concerns" over the purchase by Retail Acquisitions, the consortium led by Mr Chappell.

The trustees sought assurances that it had enough working capital before it acquired the firm from Sir Philip.

Chris Martin, chairman of the pension trustees, said: "We sought assurances that they had working capital." Sir Philip and Mr Chappell have also come under fire and will give evidence to the committee in June.

Belfast Telegraph