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BHS attracts attention from South African billionaire

Sir Philip Green’s department store chain BHS is being eyed up by South African billionare Christo Wiese

According to the Mail on Sunday Wiese has a personal fortune of £2.2bn and is looking to invest in British companies. He has teamed up with former Asda chief executive Andy Bond to help him scope out potential acquisitions.

BHS is reported to be among a group of retailers Wiese is interested in, which also includes one of the pound chain stores.

Wiese, who is the sixth richest man in South Africa according to Forbes, is chairman of South African retail groups Pepkor and Shoprite.

One source told the newspaper: “Deals are starting to happen in the UK and Christo does not want to miss the opportunity if it’s there, whether through an intermediary or not. He knows the UK and there are plenty of chains here that would fit into his group of shops. BHS is one of those.”

Arcadia-owned BHS continues to make a loss, although speaking at the World Retail Congress earlier this month, Green said he had high expectations of the retailer over the coming months.

BHS’s property portfolio has been gradually reducing over the last few years. In August, Primark took over two stores. The value chain plans to move into BHS’s Bath and Canterbury stores early next year.

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