Second administrator appointed to untangle the complex web of companies surrounding BHS

 
Helen Cahill
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First BHS Stores Shut Their Doors For Good
The first set of BHS stores shut for good closed this weekend (Source: Getty)

A second administrator has been appointed to investigate the complex web of companies surrounding BHS.

FRP Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Duff & Phelps on Friday. City A.M. understands that the firm will be looking at the transactions made between the companies connected with BHS to determine if any assets transacted were undervalued.

Read more: Here are the best reactions to the select committee report on the demise of BHS

The firm will be taking particular interest in properties sold between connected parties in Sir Philip Green's retail empire. If FRP Advisory find that any properties or other assets were sold for less than they are worth, the creditors will be entitled to compensation. The firm will be looking at dealings between the companies as far back as six years.

If Sir Philip Green is forced to shell out in compensation, this will be adding to any bill he agrees to pay to plug BHS' pension deficit.

Green is currently working with Deloitte to decide on a sum to contribute to BHS' pension fund. Linklaters are acting as his legal advisers.

Read more: Sir Philip Green ran BHS like a medieval fiefdom - now his reputation hangs by a thread

City A.M. understands that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has never agreed a deal of this kind before. If Green doesn't offer up money, TPR does have the power to issue a contribution notice, compelling him to put forward funds. Any appeal against such a notice would ultimately be decided on by a High Court Judge.

Any number put forward by Green would have to satisfy the Pension Protection Fund - BHS' largest creditor - that they would never become responsible BHS' pensions again.

A spokesperson for Pension Protection Fund (PPF) said: "We await the outcome on any discussions between the Pensions Regulator and Sir Philip Green to address the pensions deficit, but in the meantime BHS pension scheme members should be reassured that their payments are protected and will continue to be met by the trustees working with the PPF.'"

Green is also facing the prospect of investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, the Insolvency Service and the Financial Reporting Council.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid instructed the Insolvency Service to fast-track its investigation into BHS in May. This means the Insolvency Service does not have to wait for the administrators to report to them before starting their investigation into the directors of BHS - and its directors prior to the sale of the company to Dominic Chappell.

City A.M. understands that the Insolvency Service - which has the power to disqualify directors - will be considering the report issued by MPs today to see if it confirms of denies the evidence they are already considering.

The Serious Fraud Office is currently at an intelligence-gathering stage to ascertain whether it should open a criminal investigation.

The appointment of the second administrators comes as it was announced that all remaining BHS stores will be closed by 20 August.

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