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Mike Ashley 'would not buy Arcadia for £1'

Amid his battle for control at Debenhams, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley has lashed out at Sir Philip Green, announcing that he would not buy the mogul’s Arcadia Group empire, even for £1.

Speaking to The Times, Ashley dispelled rumours that Sports Direct is considering the purchase of Arcadia, directly or in partnership with Leonard Green & Partners – the private equity firm that already owns 25% of Topshop

 He said: “Let me be completely clear. I wouldn’t buy any part of Arcadia either with Leonard Green or directly for a pound.”

“I am not getting involved with that pension deficit in Arcadia for reputational reasons. It is not for me. I don’t know where the story is coming from. For all I know, Philip is putting it out there that I am going to buy it — but I am not interested.”

Arcadia owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Wallis and Miss Selfridge. It is one of Debenhams’ biggest suppliers and a significant concession partner. 

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