Sir Philip Green has been seen relaxing in Monaco amid reports that his retail empire "could fall in hours".
The retail tycoon was pictured wearing a face mask and apparently talking into a phone along a road in the tax haven.
He has reportedly been relaxing on his £100 million super yacht while his retail empire is understood to be on the brink of collapse.
The Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, could enter administration as early as tomorrow, putting up to 15,000 jobs at risk.
In a statement on Friday, the company said it was working on "contingency options to secure the future of the group’s brands".
But a source at Arcadia Group tonight told BBC News they do not expect any last-minute rescue deal.
Mike Ashley's Frasers Group has offered a £50m loan to Arcadia to try to help the group with its cash-flow problems in the short-term.
They said in a letter: "Our offer would allow you to retain employment for many thousands of your staff, reopen hundreds of stores when the current lockdown ends, and protect the financial positions of thousands of members in your pension schemes."
The Arcadia Group insider told the BBC: "If this was about £50m we could find that in five minutes.
"This is obviously a sad day, we tried to save it a year ago when £200m was put into the business and the pension fund, but it's impossible to operate now."
Sir Philip Green reportedly said Mike Ashley's offer was "laughable".
A source close to billionaire Sir Philip, 68, said: “He knows this is purely a publicity stunt by Mike Ashley.
“Raising cash is not the problem, it’s securing the company’s pension fund.
"Sir Philip knows the clock is ticking but he won’t make any rash decisions."
Arcadia said the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns had put it on the brink of collapse.
A statement added: “The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.
“As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the group’s brands.”
The Mirror revealed how the retail tycoon is planning to head for a Christmas break at an exclusive Indian Ocean resort in the sunny Maldives despite his retail empire's current situation.
The 68-year-old, who owned department store BHS before it collapsed in a scandal, will be sunning himself at the One & Only Reethi Rah resort, where some villas cost £30,000 a night.
Former BHS worker Lin MacMillan said: “This will go down like a lead balloon with Arcadia staff. It’s like sticking two fingers up at them.”
Another, Hannah Cullen, added: “It is just typical of him, he doesn’t care. It is so insensitive when his workers could be left trying to find another job in retail, when there are hardly any around.
"He has no grip of reality, he lives in a bubble.”
Sir Philip is chairman of the Arcadia group, while his wife Cristina is the majority owner of its parent company Taveta Investments.
The couple are worth £930m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.