Frasers Group PLC (LON:FRAS), the sports retail group run by Mike Ashley, confirmed that it has made an offer of “emergency funding” to Sir Philip Green’s beleaguered Arcadia Group as it teeters on the verge of collapse.
If the offer is not taken up and Arcadia ends up in administration, Frasers said it “would be interested in participating in any sale process”.
An offer for a loan of up to £50mln has been made over the weekend, the FTSE 250-listed company said in a statement on Monday, though it has not yet had a “substantive response”.
Arcadia, billionaire Green’s retail empire, which contains chains TopShop, TopMan, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Evans and Wallis, is reported to be on the verge of appointing administrators today after talks with lenders failed to secure a £30mln loan.
Arcadia’s collapse would put 15,000 jobs at risk and is likely to arouse interest from other competitors looking to snap up the group’s assets, with online specialist Boohoo cited by some analysts.
Fraser's boss Ashley has long had a penchant for picking up troubled retail brands, with the former Sports Direct having purchased a string of sports brands and a handful of smaller rivals over the years, including snapping up the gym business of long-time rival Dave Whelan out of administration earlier this year, and gobbling up troubled department store chain House of Fraser two years ago.
Last month, he reportedly made a fresh move to acquire Debenhams out of administration as part of an auction process that is ongoing.
Arcadia may appoint Deloitte to oversee a 'light touch' trading administration today, Sky News reported, which would let the embattled company's stores and websites continue to trade through into next month.