Belfast Telegraph

Former BHS shareholder refuses to reveal profit after sale of stake

A former BHS shareholder has batted away attempts by MPs to discover how much profit he made when he sold a substantial stake in the doomed retailer.

Richard Caring said his decision to sell-off his 22.1% stake to Lady Tina Green - the wife and former owner of BHS Sir Philip Green - was a "private transaction" which did not impact the BHS pension fund.

A committee of MPs are honing in on Mr Caring's involvement with BHS as they continue to investigate the retailer's collapse in April, which left 11,000 people out of work and a £571 million black hole in its pensions fund.

Frank Field MP, chair of the work and pensions committee, said: "Richard Caring refuses to tell us how much he was paid by Lady Green in 2006 for his secret shareholding. He tells us that this is private, and not within the scope of our inquiry.

"On the contrary: understanding these mutually beneficial secret deals, understanding exactly how Sir Philip Green managed to make BHS so lucrative for his family in the early years, is crucial to understanding the mess we are in now, with 11,000 jobs and 22,000 people's full pension entitlement on the line."

In a letter to MPs, Mr Caring - a multimillionaire restaurateur and high street clothing supplier- said he had a 22.1% holding in the business after investing £10 million 2001.

Mr Caring said he took the decision to buy the BHS shares through two holding companies - Dar Jenna Limited and Lineman Holdings Limited - because it was "better if it was not public knowledge that I was both a supplier and shareholder to a retail competitor".

The move saw him receive £93.5 million in dividends between 2002 and 2004 before the shares were sold to Lady Green in 2006.

A spokesperson for Mr Caring said: " Mr Caring has cooperated with the select committee in its investigation and has provided two letters with comprehensive answers to their requests.

"This was a private transaction that took place 10 years ago between Mrs Caring and Lady Green. There was no commitment of BHS funds involved in the sale of shares, nor did it have an impact on the BHS pension fund."