Next withdraws from race to buy Arcadia retail empire



Next has withdrawn from negotiations to buy Sir Philip Green’s collapsed retail empire Arcadia.

The retailer was said to be a frontrunner to take on the group, which fell into administration in December, casting doubt on the future of its 13,000 employees,

However, the high street chain, which was bidding for the group in partnership with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner, said this morning it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”.

It is understood that final bids for the Topshop owner, set by administrator Deloitte, were due on Monday.

Retailers including Boohoo, Frasers Group and JD Sports in partnership with US retail giant Authentic Brands, have also been considering acquiring some or all of Arcadia’s stores.

Deloitte is expected to receive bids worth more than £200m, with Chinese online retailer Shein having already tabled an offer for Topshop and Topman worth more than £300m, according to Sky News.

Last month, administrators agreed the sale of Arcadia’s plus-sized brand Evans to Australian firm City Chic Collective for £23m.

Last year, Next struck licensing deals with Victoria’s Secret and Laura Ashley after they went into administration.

It has been one of the few retail success stories of the last 12 months, posting better than expected Christmas revenues.

Arcadia meanwhile, revealed earlier this week that its administrators were planning to permanently shut another 31 of its stores by the end of January, with the loss of 714 more jobs.

It is understood that the latest cuts will result in the closure of all 21 of the group’s Outfit stores.

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