Sir Philip Green has sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions today for an undisclosed sum.
Arcadia boss Green had owned the downmarket department store for nearly 15 years.
The 171-store retailer is thought to have been loss-making for some time, though Green said it was being “handed over in a sound financial position, with significant cash balances and banking facilities in place”.
He added: “I am pleased that we have found a buyer in Retail Acquisitions who wants to develop the BHS brand. Having acquired the business nearly 15 years ago, in May 2000, one of my clear objectives in identifying a purchaser was ensuring their desire to take the business forward.
“I am confident that Retail Acquisitions have a platform to grow the business and return it to profitability.”
Green praised staff and management, saying he was “deeply proud of the work ethic displayed by the very many people I have worked with for so long at BHS”.
“Most of the senior management have been with BHS for a long time and know the business very well – I am confident that they will work seamlessly with the new owners to achieve the very best for BHS,” he added.
Chairman of Retail Acquisitions Keith Smith said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into this iconic British high street brand. We are convinced that with strategic and focussed support we will return BHS to profitability, and safeguard the workforce.
“By backing the existing management and investing in their plan, we are confident that we can build upon many of the initiatives already in place.”
Smith said the business would appoint a chairman with “significant retail experience and further retail turnaround experts in due course.”