Greg Tufnell, the former boss of Mothercare and Burton, has teamed up with Portuguese bigwigs to set up a consortium to bid for embattled retailer BHS.
It has been widely reported that the investment vehicle, Richess Group, is backed by a wealthy Portuguese family along with Portuguese financier Jose Maria Soares Bento, and Nick De Scossa, an investment banker who was Bristol Rugby club’s former chief executive.
Reports suggest that the Soares dos Santos family, that owns Portuguese supermarket giant Jeromino Martins, is thought to be behind Tufnell’s investment group. However, their involvement remains unconfirmed.
Read more: Crunch week as BHS seeks a fresh start
Tufnell, who is eyeing to become the next BHS chairman, is believed to be the frontrunner in the bid to save the retailer. Earlier this week, Matalan founder John Hargreaves and Select Fashions boss Cafer Mahiroglu quit the race to buy the retailer after being told to stump up more money.
Administrators at Duff & Phelps are rumoured to be interested in selling all of BHS’ shops. If talks don’t materialise, liquidators will take over which would lead to 11,000 BHS workers losing their job.
Earlier this week, BHS administrators launched a high court legal battle against the retail chain’s former boss Dominic Chappell. They claimed that he was not cooperating with the investigation into the retailer’s collapse.
Chappell, who has been declared bankrupt three times, owns a 90 per cent stake in Retail Acquisitions, which bought BHS from retail tycoon Sir Philip Green for £1 last year.
Meanwhile, Eddie Parladorio, head of Retail Acquisitions’ legal function, and Aidan Treacy, who worked in the head office restructure and CVA of BHS, stepped down yesterday.