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Matalan founder teams up with Select owner on BHS bid

Matalan founder John Hargreaves is reported to be working with the owner of Select Fashions, Cafer Mahiroglu, on a bid to rescue BHS.

Cafer Mahiroglu, Select owner

Cafer Mahiroglu, Select owner

Hargreaves and Turkish entrepreneur Mahiroglu are understood to have a five-year turnaround plan and £80m to save the retailer and keep the BHS name going, according to The Sun.

The pair are due to meet administrators for a third time today, ahead of the 5pm deadline for final bids. A source within BHS told Drapers there has been a flurry of meetings in the BHS head office today.

Hargreaves and Mahiroglu hope to save between 120 and 130 stores and around half of the 11,000 jobs, and make the BHS brand “young and relevant again”, the newspaper reported. Their plan involves expanding the range of electronics and developing its food business.

Both entrepreneurs are understood to be financing the bid separately from their existing companies.

Mahiroglu rescued Select from administration in 2008. In a Drapers Interview, he said he admired Hargreaves for creating in Matalan “a unique out-of-town clothing retail concept in the UK that remains resilient even with the threat of the supermarkets”.

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