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Bidding war builds over BHS

BHS has several potential buyers circling it, with private equity group Apollo and restructuring specialist Hilco entering the pack - although South African billionaire Christo Wiese is still believed to be the front runner.  

Earlier this month Wiese, who has a personal fortune of £2.2bn, confirmed he was interested in making a bid for British retailers, with BHS top of the list.

Wiese is looking to invest in UK companies, after setting up a UK team led by formed Asda chief executive Andy Bond.

It has been reported that Wiese is travelling to the UK this week, however he is not thought to have made contact with BHS owner Philip Green.

If Wiese were to bid for the department store chain he could face competition from Apollo, a private equity group, and several corporate turnaround specialists including Hilco, who are also understood to be interested in the retailer.

BHS’s property portfolio has been gradually reducing over the last few years. In August, Primark took over two stores. The value chain plans to move into BHS’s Bath and Canterbury stores early next year.

According to the Independent BHS made a £71m pre-tax loss last year on sales of £700m.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hilco are asset strippers rather than 'turnaround specialists', though how do you value a business that makes huge losses such as BHS? It is one those brands whose shops you wouldn't invent if they didn't already exist. I'd be amazed if BHS existed in five years time and it will always have the image of Vera Lynn and brown paper.

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