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Christmas deadline looms for Topshop loan

Sir Philip Green is said to be in a race to raise more than £300m, as a Christmas deadline to repay a loan secured against Topshop’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street fast approaches. 

The Sunday Times has reported that Green’s Arcadia Group is in talks with specialist lenders – including US private equity firm Apollo Global Management – about refinancing the £310m mortgage due for repayment next month. 

The original mortgage was provided in 2014 by a syndicate of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland. It was scheduled to expire last June but was extended as part of the group’s company voluntary arrangement earlier this year. 

The newspaper said that as a specialist lender Apollo would be expected to demand a higher rate than a high street bank. 

In September, Arcadia reported an operating loss of £138m for the 53 weeks to 1 September 2018, admitting it could require additional financing to deliver its turnaround.  

It was the first time in seven years that Green’s empire has reported a loss, falling into the red from a £199m profit in 2017.

Arcadia successfully passed seven CVAs in June this year, which included the closure of 48 of its UK and Irish stores and slashing rents across the remainder of its portfolio. The group’s brands comprise Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Outfit. As part of the CVAs, Topshop and Topman’s retail operations in the US were placed into administration. 

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