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Next frontrunner to snap up collapsed Topshop owner Arcadia

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and Barneys department store owner Authentic Brands, which planned to make a joint effort with JD Sports, are also bidding

Next PLC - NEXT frontrunner to snap up collapsed Topshop owner Arcadia

Next PLC (LON:NXT) is understood to be the frontrunner to snap up collapsed Topshop owner Arcadia Group.

Sir Philip Green’s retail giant, which entered administration at the start of December, will receive the final bids on Monday.

READ: Arcadia administrators sell Evans brand for £23mln

Offers are expected to be well above £200mln, the Sunday Times reported, with administrators from Deloitte looking to close the sale by the end of January.

High street veteran Next has partnered with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner to rescue Arcadia, up against Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group PLC (LON:FRAS) and Barneys department store owner Authentic Brands, which planned to make a joint effort with JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD.).

Online pure-play retailer boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) was considered in line with fast-fashion brand Topshop’s values but is now seen as an outside bet.

Arcadia, which also owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, collapsed with an estimated £350mln pension black hole that Green is under pressure to plug.

If Next and David Kempner succeed, they will appoint external managers and the high street retailer will hold a minority stake. Stores would stay open if landlords agreed to link rents to sales.

Last month, Arcadia’s fashion brand Evans was sold to Australian firm City Chic Collective for £23mln, although the deal did not include the plus-sized clothier’s store network but just the brand, its customer base and inventory.

Shares in Next rose 1% to 8,127.36p on Monday morning.

Quick facts: Next PLC

Price: 7400 GBX

LSE:NXT
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £9.84 billion
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