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TopShop tycoon lands £310m Oxford Street deal

by ace
Topshop on Oxford Street, London

Today´s Deals

TopShop tycoon Sir Philip Green struck a £ 310m deal to remortgage the Oxford Street flag of his struggling retail empire.

Sky News found that Sir Philip's company Arcadia Group had finalized a four-year loan from US investment giant Apollo ahead of a year-end deadline.

Apollo's debt will be secured against the building that houses a Niketown store, as well as one of TopShop and TopMan's largest stores.

Sir Philip's race to find a new lender was reported by The Sunday Times last month.

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Weeks after the group, which also owns the Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, named a former head of the hotel and leisure group De Vere as its new president.

Andrew Coppel's appointment to the presidency of Arcadia, his direct holding Taveta Investments and Top Shop Top Man Limited, the direct owner of Sir Philip's two most popular retail brands, put him in charge of companies employing about 18,000 people.

The refinancing of Oxford Street was set before the most crucial Christmas negotiation period of Sir Philip's long career on the streets.

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It was a tumultuous period for Sir Philip Green

Brutal conditions across the retail sector have had a big impact on many of their top names, with a string of bankruptcies and bailout deals costing tens of thousands of jobs this year alone.

Sir Philip only secured creditors' support for an Arcadia bailout in June, with owners agreeing to support a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) on the second attempt.

Under the deal, the tycoon's wife, Lady Tina Green, agreed to inject £ 175 million into the group's pension plan over a three-year period, with the security of another £ 210 million in assets also being granted to him.

In return, Arcadia signaled its intention to close dozens of stores and reduce rents to hundreds more.

It was a tumultuous period for Sir Philip, who for years was considered the king of the streets by politicians and the media, but has been struggling to regain his stance since the collapse of the BHS in 2016.

His sale of the department store chain a year earlier to Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt, resulted in Sir Philip having to contribute more than £ 360 million to finance his pension deficit after the collapse.

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The scale of the challenge Sir Philip faces in trying to save Arcadia was underlined in September, when he lost £ 170 million in a year.

As part of the reorganization of his companies this year, Sir Philip paid $ 1 to repurchase his private equity partner's 25% stake in Topshop and Topman.

He was also forced to tamper with the terms of an offer to US lenders by closing Top Shop stores there.

The tycoon's miserable time was not just about his business performance.

Sir Philip was also caught in a storm by his behavior toward Arcadia employees and his use of non-disclosure agreements to prevent former workers from discussing their severance packages.

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He denied any illegal wrongdoing, but most recently was charged with misdemeanor assault in Arizona for allegedly groping a Pilates instructor.

Sir Philip denied these accusations.

People close to the tycoon expect him to pursue a sale of some or all of his street operations if they survive the difficult and continuing business environment.

Arcadia confirmed the Oxford Street agreement.

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