Next pulls out of Topshop bidding war

Louise Moon
·2-min read
Topshop/Topman
Topshop/Topman

Next has pulled out of the race to buy Topshop and Topman as a bidding war for the most prized assets of Sir Philip Green’s former retail empire drags on.

The joint venture between Next and US hedge fund David Kempner Capital Management withdrew from the auction on Thursday after it failed to match rival bids.

It said: “Next announces that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire any, or all, of the Arcadia Group from the administrator, as our consortium has been unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor.

“Next wishes the administrator and future owners well in their endeavours to preserve an important part of the UK retail sector”.

Next had previously been reported as one of the most likely businesses to buy the famed high street brands, after parent group Arcadia collapsed in November having lost out to the high street-battering pandemic.

Its decision to drop the approach clears the way for US retail giant Authentic Brands and Nasdaq-listed G-III Apparel, which owns the DKNY brand and licences for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Levi’s, among others. Both of the contenders were first revealed by The Telegraph.

Another potential buyer is Chinese giant Shein, which is said to have tabled an offer of over £300m.

A deadline for rescue bids set by administrator Deloitte expired this week. Offers are being considered, though it is unlikely any deal will be finalised before the end of the month.

As the jewel in Sir Philip’s crown, analysts say Topshop could fetch about £200m, or more than twice its operating profit last year.

Earlier this week Arcadia - which also owns Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burton - said it will close more than two dozen stores by the end of the month, with 700 staff expected to lose their jobs. It brings total redundancies to about 1,000. A total of 13,000 jobs are at risk over the collapse.

Deloitte declined to comment.