Belfast Telegraph

Sir Philip Green ponders rescue options for Topshop Australia

Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green is considering a plan to rescue the Australian arm of fashion chain Topshop after its franchise partner collapsed into administration.

Sir Philip's Arcadia empire is in talks with administrators Ferrier Hodgson over options for the Australian chain, which could reportedly see it take ownership of the business.

Topshop Australia was placed in voluntary administration on Wednesday amid mounting losses six years after it launched in the country.

It has nine standalone stores and 17 concessions within Australian department store giant Myer, and employs 760 staff.

An Arcadia spokesman said: "We are working with administrators to find a solution."

Adminstrator James Stewart, at Ferrier Hodgson, confirmed it was "business as usual" as they " work closely with Arcadia Group on supporting and right-sizing the Australian business to a sustainable platform".

Myer also owns a 20% stake in the franchise following a deal struck in 2015.

The franchise has annual sales of 90 million Australian dollars (£52 million).

Topshop has been leading a push to expand overseas in recent years, opening its first shops in China last year and launching a flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue in 2014 as part of a US store rollout.

Details of the potential rescue bid for the Australian business comes as reports also suggest that Lord Grabiner - chairman of Arcadia parent company Taveta Investments - is poised to become the latest high-profile departure from the group.

Lord Grabiner, a prominent QC, is understood to be stepping down after 15 years leading the board.

He came under fire last year after his appearance before a joint parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of BHS, when MPs said he gave a "complacent" performance.

Arcadia has seen a string of recent departures, including Topshop managing director Mary Homer, who has stepped down to head up The White Company, and Burton managing director Wesley Taylor, who left after more than a decade.

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