United Kingdom

Asos joins the race to buy Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge out of administration

Asos has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge after they were placed in administration.   

The online fashion retailer is keen to acquire the brands from the administrators of Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group - which also owns Dorothy Perkins and Burton.

It comes just months after the business tycoon's retail empire fell into administration and put 13,000 jobs and hundreds of stores at risk amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asos is competing against rivals including Boohoo Group, U.S. retailer Authentic Brands Group, which is working with JD Sports Fashion Plc, and Chinese fashion group Shein, Sky News reported. 

Asos has become a contender in the race to buy Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge from the administrators of Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group. (Stock image)

It comes after the business tycoon's Arcadia Group fell into administration and put 13,000 jobs and hundreds of stores at risk

However the company only wants to acquire the brands and not the stores - therefore casting speculation that a deal could put jobs at risk. 

The company is currently in the lead to buy the Topshop brand for more than £250million, according to Sky.

The billionaire brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa, who recently bought the supermarket chain Asda, have also been locked in secret talks to buy Topshop.      

On Thursday, Retailer Next Plc said it had pulled out of the bidding for Topshop and Topman after it was unable to meet the price expectations of the collapsed fashion chains.

Administrators at Deloitte, who were drafted in to find bidders for the businesses following a slump in sales, are expected to sell the brands by next month.

Asos and the Arcadia Group told MailOnline they would not be commenting. 

Last year the Arcadia Group, which runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas, was hammered by store closures amid the pandemic.

The administrators said they would 'asses all options available' but would continue to honour all online orders and operate all of its current sales channels.

Retail trade union Usdaw said it would seek an urgent meeting with Arcadia's administrators in an attempt to save jobs and ensure staff were treated fairly as Sir Philip's retail empire went bust. 

Business secretary Alok Sharma also said he would keep a 'very close eye' on the administrators' report on director conduct, and pledged the Government would support the affected workers. 

In a statement, Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner said at the time: 'In the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.'

He added: 'This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders. 

'Our stores will remain open or reopen when permitted under the Government Covid-19 restrictions, our online platforms will be fully operational and supplies to all of our partners will continue.'

Last year the Arcadia Group was hammered by store closures amid the pandemic. (Stock image) 

The group, which includes the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, hired administrators from Deloitte after the coronavirus pandemic 'severely impacted' sales across its brands. (Stock image)

Meanwhile Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: 'We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to assess all options available for the future of the group's businesses.

'It is our intention to continue to trade all of the brands and we look forward to welcoming customers back into stores when many of them are allowed to reopen. 

'We will be rapidly seeking expressions of interest and expect to identify one or more buyers to ensure the future success of the businesses.' 

Earlier this month, Asos announced it would invest £90million in a new centre after annual profits quadrupled last year.

The retailer plans to open the centre in Lichfield, Staffordshire, within 12 months and will employ 2,000 people at the site over the next three years.

The 437,000 square feet, AEW and Allianz Real Estate joint venture warehouse at Fradley Park will open within 12 months and will be fully operational by 2023, Asos said in a statement.  

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