Embattled retail magnate Sir Philip Green is in talks with lenders about borrowing more than £300m that he needs by Christmas to pay off a loan secured against his flagship Oxford Street Topshop store.
Among the possible suitors is US private equity company Apollo, according to the Sunday Times. With the loan due for repayment next month, Green faces a race against time to raise the cash.
The loan against the Oxford Street store, which also contains Nike Town and Vans, was given in 2014 by a group of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland. The prime property is believed to be worth around £400m.
It was extended to December 2019 as part of the deals Arcadia struck in the summer to stave off bankruptcy. A process called a company voluntary arrangement let Green renegotiate rents and close stores without going bust.
Arcadia declined to comment. Apollo could not immediately be reached.
Arcadia, which also owns Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins, reported a huge loss last year before its controversial restructuring, its accounts showed when they were released in September.
The group reported an operating loss of £138m for the year ending 1 September 2018, a sharp decline on the £119m operating profit it made the previous year, according to documents filed to Companies House.
The group attributed the dip to the “ongoing challenge global market conditions for retailers” and increased competition.
The UK retail sector has suffered in recent years as shoppers’ habits have changed. Many retailers have struggled to adapt to the growth in online shopping and have been left lumbered with costly bricks-and-mortar stores.
A report last month showed that retail footfall has fallen 10 per cent in seven years. Many retailers have floundered in the face of rising costs, intense competition and economic uncertainty.
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