Former Marks & Spencer chairman Lord Myners has been called in to advise on the inquiry into the collapse of BHS just over a year after Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green sold it to Retail Acquisitions for £1.
Myners, who helped to derail Green’s bid to take over M&S in 2004, will lead a panel of financial assessors for the work and pensions select committee, which kicks off its inquiry into BHS today.
Sir David Norgrove, who was chairman of M&S’s pension fund in 2004, has been appointed special adviser.
Representatives from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and Pensions Regulator will appear in front of it and the business, innovation and skills select committee today. They will be asked to assess the impact the BHS’s pension scheme would have on the PPF.
The scheme has a £571m deficit and the PPF is expected to tell MPs it requires a top-up of as much as £300m.
Green and Retail Acquisitions owner Dominic Chappell will be called to give evidence at a later date.
Frank Field MP, who chairs the work and pensions committee, has also recruited pensions lawyer Robin Ellison and accountancy professor Prem Sikka to bolster the inquiry panel, Sky News has reported.
Last week, Green complained of being subjected to a “trial by media” and accused Field of being “clearly prejudiced”, demanding his resignation from the committee.
It has also emerged that Retail Acquisitions, which was run by Chappell and owned BHS when it collapsed at the end of April, spent more than £100m in the 13 months after it bought the chain from Green for £1.
This included around £70m of cash, £10m raised from a sale-and-leaseback deal and a large proportion of the £65m gained from a refinancing deal with investment firm Grovepoint, The Mail on Sunday reports.
The overspending meant there was only about £30m left, which was insufficient to pay suppliers and landlords.