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Arcadia collapsed with 750 million pounds of debt

By Huw Hughes

Jan 27, 2021

Arcadia Group, which called in administrators from Deloitte at the end of November, was reportedly sitting on a 750 million pound pile of debt when it collapsed.

Reports prepared by Deloitte and seen by The Telegraph reveal Topshop and Topman failed with gross liabilities of more than 550 million pounds.

Meanwhile, multi-brand discount chain Outfit, which Deloitte announced this month would be closing all 21 of its stores, owed 80 million pounds.

Deloitte said it would keep creditors updated as it gathered more information, but warned the total amount could be “materially higher” than the current figure.

The filing did not include unsecured amounts owed to the Arcadia retirement fund and unpaid VAT due to HM Revenue and Customs.

Earlier this week, Asos confirmed it had entered exclusive talks with Deloitte over the acquisition of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

Rival British Fashion retailer Next, which was previously considered the frontrunner in the race to acquire Arcadia’s assets, pulled out of the bidding last week.

Other bidders thought to still be in the race to acquire Arcadia’s assets are Boohoo, Frasers Group and Authentic Brands Group, which has linked up with JD Sports Fashion.

The auction is expected to be concluded by the end of January after final bids were submitted last Monday.

If Asos does make the acquisition, it is thought it could result in mass job losses, as Asos is an online-exclusive business with no need for in-store staff.

However, reports Tuesday indicated the company could retain Topshop’s iconic flagship store on Oxford Circus if it goes ahead with the acquisition.

In January, Arcadia’s administrators sold the Evans brand, e-commerce and wholesale business to rival City Chic Collective Limited for a cash consideration of approximately 23 million pounds.

Photo credit: FashionUnited