Sir Philip Green’s £100m superyacht – Lionheart – could be used to pay the pensions of thousands of BHS workers.
The chair of cross-party Work and Pensions Commons Committee MP Frank Field has written to the Pensions Regulator to ask if it can acquire "assets other than cash from a person from which payment is being sought".
Green's yacht has gained almost as much attention as its owner this summer, as it mooched around the Aegean Sea while the former BHS owner was busy being labelled "the unacceptable face of capitalism".
Tomorrow morning the Pension Regulator chief executive Lesley Titcomb will appear before the Work and Pensions Committee to answer questions on how another BHS pension fund disaster can be avoided, without penalising properly run businesses.
We are pleased to see that the Pension Regulator has used its powers to demand information from Arcadia about yet another of Sir Philip Green’s pension funds that is going deep into deficit, but it is a terrible concern that it has got to this stage again. Is Sir Philip going to 'sort' this one too?
Earlier this month the Pension's Regulator launched legal proceedings against Sir Philip.
Green – along with the parent company of his empire Taveta Investments – and Dominic Chappell – including his company Retail Acquisitions – have each been sent warning notices setting out evidence to support the use of contribution notices and financial support directions, which would demand money from the parties.
BHS fell into administration this April, running a pension deficit worth £571m at the time, and it was later decided the company could not be saved and would need to be wound down. The retailer had been sold for £1 little more than a year earlier.
Field has also written to the board of Green's Arcadia and the trustees of the Arcadia pension fund seeking information about its recovery plan – the Arcadia pension fund is also well over £200m in deficit – and the employer contributions to it.
Green's yacht has attracted its fair share of criticism following the collapse of BHS.
In September comedian Lee Nelson Nelson renamed Green's superyacht.
He made his way over to the multi-million pound yacht, which was parked in Monaco, in a dinghy to attach a homemade sign – dubbing the vessel the "BHS Destroyer".
MPs last month backed a call to strip Green of his knighthood for his role in the collapse of BHS, although that decision would need to be taken by the Honours Foreiture Committee.