Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia has denied it is preparing to sell off its brands, which include high street retailers Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.
Arcadia has reportedly started to separate its centralised functions such as human resources and IT as it prepares to dismantle the group.
According to the Sunday Times the brands would be sold through a disciplined process rather than a “fire sale”, and the Pensions Regulator would have to approve any sales due to the £750m deficit in the retail group’s retirement funds.
Chief executive Ian Grabiner was reported to be overseeing the work after persuading Green that the group is unable to trade its way out of its financial difficulties.
However, a spokesperson for Arcadia said reports of an impending sell-off were “inaccurate and unfounded,” adding that the firm was focused on implementing its rescue plan.
In June, the retail group narrowly secured creditor approval to implement a company voluntary arrangement restructuring plan, giving Arcadia the green light to close 23 stores and secure rent reductions at nearly 200 stores.
The plan was delayed after Vornado, which owns two Topshop stores in New York, and Californian property firm Caruso filed a legal challenge against the CVA.
Both US landlords withdrew their challenges last week, allowing Arcadia to push ahead with implementing the plan.
“Following the formal completion of the CVA process last week, the board is now fully focused on implementing its turnaround plan across all its brands,” an Arcadia spokesperson said in response to reports of an Arcadia split.
The retail group, which also owns brands including Wallis and Miss Selfridge, could have collapsed into administration if creditors had opposed the CVA proposals, which would have put 17,000 jobs at risk.
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