Timeline: A blow-by-blow account of how BHS' demise unfolded

 
Emma Haslett
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The Rescue Bid For BHS Fails Putting 11,000 Jobs At Risk
BHS was sold by Arcadia for £1 last year (Source: Getty)

One of the biggest names on the UK's high street could be about to disappear, after its administrators began the process of winding it down.

The news comes after a tumultuous few months for the retailer, which announced in April that it was entering administration - just over a year after it was sold for £1 by Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green.

Here's how the events unfolded...

Timeline: BHS' fall from grace

​March 2015: BHS sold for £1 by SIr Philip

After months of speculation surrounding the fate of the company, Topshop owner Arcadia says it has sold BHS for a nominal fee of £1. The buyer? Little-known investment vehicle Retail Acquisitions, which was founded three months previously.

22 April 2016: Speculation mounts over BHS' future

After just over a year in the hands of Retail Acquisitions, rumours emerge that BHS is close to sinking into administration.

25 April 2016: Administrators called in

Two days later, it comes to pass as the company appoints Duff & Phelps as administrators. On the bright side, though, there are rumours more than 30 bidders are interested.

26 April 2016: The pension question

As it becomes clear BHS' £571m pension liabilities will be passed into the Pension Protection Fund, Pensions Committee chair Frank Field insists Green will be questioned over the company's pension liabilities.

27 April 2016: The return of Chappell?

It is reported Dominic Chappell, the owner of Retail Acquisitions, is preparing a bid to buy back BHS. Sources tell City A.M. he is "living in cloud cuckoo land".

1 May 2016: Ashley swoops in

A retail administration wouldn't be a retail administration without Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley wading in. In an interview, Ashley says he could be the one to save the chain.

3 May 2016: The government gets involved

Speaking in the House of Commons, business secretary Sajid Javid says he has written to the Insolvency Service asking it to fast-track an investigation into the retailer.

The Rescue Bid For BHS Fails Putting 11,000 Jobs At Risk
(Source: Getty)

10 May 2016: #SaveBHS

In a sign things are becoming increasingly desperate, workers at the retailer launch a #SaveBHS campaign. As part of the campaign, they light up Marble Arch and Blackfriars Bridge with the message: "Come on Britain. #SaveBHS".

Later that day, it emerges there are now just five suitors for the business, including Ikea and Edinburgh Woollen Mills.

18 May 2016: More bidders emerge

Hilco Capital is among more names to emerge as potential buyers of the retailer - as MPs confirm Dominic Chappell will be hauled in front of MPs. Two days later it is reported that a sale may be agreed very soon.

23 May 2016: MP blasts evidence

Iain Wright, chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, blasts performances by those who have given evidence during its inquiry as "pretty poor".

Later that day, it emerges top Goldman Sachs banker Anthony Gutman had warned Arcadia over the sale of the retailer to Retail Acquisitions, saying Chappell had a history of bankruptcy.

25 May 2016: Tights spot

Courtaulds, the clothing maker behind Pretty Polly tights which counted BHS among its largest customers, collapses into administration.

Meanwhile, MPs' grilling of those involved with the company continues apace, with Grant Thornton partner Mark Byers saying BHS needed to be separated from Arcadia in order to survive.

29 May 2016: Property money

It emerges legendary property tycoon "Black Jack" Dellal had helped Chappell buy BHS, handing him the £35m he needed to prove to Arcadia he was a suitable buyer.

2 June 2016: End of an era

After weeks of speculation over buyers, Duff & Phelps finally calls time on a potential sale, saying the company is being wound down because no buyer was willing to take on BHS as a going concern - and putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

The news comes just hours after law firm Pinsent Masons suggests the collapse could prompt a change to takeover rules.

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