Sir Philip Green said he tried to support a sale of BHS to Sports Direct in April this year, submitting new evidence that “can put an end to the suggestion that I tried to block a sale of the business”.
Green said that Ashley had told administrators on April 27 that he wanted to buy the BHS business and would keep all shops open and secure all jobs until the end of 2016 in a deal that would include all the stock for £10m, which administrators refused.
Green offered to add an additional £5m to help the business be sold as a going concern but later was informed that no acceptable offer was forthcoming from Sports Direct, he said in new evidence submitted to the joint select committee inquiry into the collapse of BHS published today.
He also said there was £421m of capital expenditure on stores between 2000/1 to 2013/14 and “we lent BHS £256m on an unsecured, interest free basis (the vast majority of which we wrote off when BHS was sold)” in an “unusually supportive step”, as well as making all agreed pension contributions.
Sir Philip Green
He maintained that “on any fair review of the BHS balance sheet on sale and of the support we provided to the BHS business throughout it is clear we invested substantially in the business, we lent substantial sums to the business and we gave Retail Acquisitions every chance with a solid platform to take the business forward.”