Sir Philip Green has denied reports that he is planning to sell all or part of Arcadia.
The Sunday Times reported on 18 February that Green was thought to be seeking an exit from the group as its brands, which include Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, struggle to compete with online players such as Asos and Boohoo.
The newspaper mooted that Chinese textiles giant Shandong Ruyi, which is based in Jining in northern China, has held discussions and looked at the books at Arcadia.
However, Green has stated the article is “totally false”.
A statement from Arcadia said: “Neither Sir Philip nor any of the directors of Arcadia have ever met or had any contact with Shandong Ruyi, and they have never been to the Arcadia offices as was suggested to look at the Company’s books. We have the greatest respect for them as an organisation, but have had no dealings or contact with them.
“There are further statements in the article that discussions have taken place with HSBC. These are also totally untrue. Additionally, there is no truth in the suggestion that the company ‘has been seeking a buyer for some time’.”
Frank Field, the chairman of the work and pensions select committee, called for a halt to any potential deal to protect the Arcadia pension fund on 19 February.
With regards to the pension fund, the business said: “Arcadia has undertaken to pay £50m a year into its pension fund, the most recent payment being made this month. The group remains unborrowed at the operating level and has substantial property assets.”