Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has called the select committee report into the downfall of BHS the “predetermined and inaccurate output of a biased and unfair process”, and demanded an apology from work and pensions committee chairman Frank Field in relations to allegations he made on BBC Radio 4 yesterday.
“With the benefit of hindsight, clearly Retail Acquisitions and Mr Chappell were a very bad choice as purchaser on many fronts and I feel badly let down,” said Green in a statement made yesterday evening.
“Sadly, one cannot turn the clock back. The disposal of BHS was made 100% in good faith and I still believe that we provided Retail Acquisitions and Mr Chappell with the appropriate finance (around £200m of cash and assets) to take the business forward.”
Green reiterated that he is trying to find a solution for the BHS pension and continuing to work with The Pensions Regulator to achieve an outcome.
“I am sad and sorry for all the BHS people caught up in this horrid story, but I do not believe that this story is being in any way fairly portrayed,” he added.
Separately, Green has appointed City law firm Schillings to demand an apology within 24 hours from Field, who alleged that Green had stolen money from the BHS and Arcadia pension funds.
“This statement is highly defamatory and completely false,” the letter said. “Our client has never stolen any money from BHS, Arcadia or the pension funds and you know that.”
The firm said an allegation that Green is a thief is likely to cause serious harm and requested a response within 24 hours.
Yesterday the work and pensions committee, and the business, innovations and skills committee published a report that pointed the finger at Green as responsible for the collapse of BHS.