Sir Philip Green has demanded written assurances from the new owner of BHS that if it sold any of the company’s assets the cash raised would be reinvested into the business.
Retail Acquisitions, an unknown group of dealmakers, took control of the department store chain last week and announced plans to revamp the existing store estate, add new concessions and focus on online and international expansion.
Green told The Mail on Sunday: “The most important thing to me is that there are commitments.
“There is plenty of money in the kitty and they have a road map of what they want to do and what they can do quickly. If they do the right things and they work hard at it, they’ve a platform to grow.
“They’ve given commitments to run the business and if they sell assets, they will reinvest money. I hope and believe they will live up to those commitments.”
Newspaper reports over the weekend said property agents have been appointed to review the BHS store portfolio. It is thought the new owners could choose to sell off some of the less profitable stores.
It is also thought that BHS’s chief operating officer Darren Topp will spearhead the strategic plan for the new owner following the departure of Richard Price, who last month announced he planned to join Tesco’s F&F. Former Debenhams chief executive and BHS managing director Terry Green is thought to be in the running as a non-executive director or advisor to the business.
Meanwhile, the BHS pension fund deficit is likely to be “significantly higher” than the £100m first mooted, Chris Martin, chairman to the trustees of the fund, told The Guardian. Retail Acquisitions is due to meet with the fund’s trustees and the pensions regulator this week to discuss its plans for financing the deficit.