Sports Direct mogul Mike Ashley’s Frasers group (FRAS.L) confirmed that he is considering buying another Arcadia brand, this time Millennials favorite Topshop.
The Frasers Group said on Monday it was in talks with Debenhams administrators over a possible bailout offer for the department’s UK operations. The news follows the high-profile fall of the Arcadia group, which took office on November 30 after its business was “severely affected” by the coronavirus pandemic. This decision endangers some 13,000 jobs.
“We tend to watch almost everything on the main street,” Frasers chief financial officer Chris Wootton told the BBC’s Today program on Thursday.
While Wootton confirmed that Frasers was interested in Arcadia’s brand portfolio, he did not say how long the review process would take, emphasizing instead that “the process is just beginning, so there is a long way to go to figure out what – if anything – we’re looking at with this. “
Although high street stores are struggling to regain a foothold following successive closures and increased cases of COVID-19 in the UK, shoppers are concerned about visiting physical stores, Frasers said on Thursday he would invest more in stand-alone stores. This despite the pandemic pushing more online sales.
Temporary store closures hit the Frasers Group with a 7% drop in sales in the six months to October 25, but the company reported an increase in profits, up £ 106million (142, £ 96million) versus £ 90million last year.
Retail mogul Mike Ashley has expressed interest in taking over the Arcadia group from Sir Philip Green even before it fell into administration, offering a £ 50million lifeline in November, which the latter individual called it a “publicity stunt”.
According to Sky News, Frasers Group had make plans for an emergency loan in Arcadia just hours before its board of directors appointed directors.
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