Arcadia Group owner Sir Phillip Green has sold his loss-making high street chain BHS to investment company Retail Acquisitions for an undisclosed sum.
BHS, which was founded in Brixton in 1928 and has 171 stores in the UK, reported a 3.5 per cent fall in sales to £675.m in 2013.
“I am pleased that we have found a buyer in Retail Acquisitions Ltd who
wants to develop the BHS brand," said Green in a statement. "Having acquired the business nearly 15 years ago in May 2000, one of my clear objectives in identifying a purchaser was ensuring their desire to take the business forward."
Green said the business is being handed over in a "sound financial position" with "significant" cash balances and banking facilities in place.
Retail Acquisitions said it planned to appoint a BHS chairman “with significant retail experience” as well as other retail turnaround experts in due course.
Keith Smith, chairman of Retail Acquisitions, said: “This is a fantastic
opportunity to breathe new life into this iconic British high street brand. We are
convinced that with strategic and focussed support we will return BHS to profitability,
and safeguard the workforce."
Speculation of a sale of BHS has been brewing for some months. Speaking in January Green said he had received "several approaches" for BHS and would "explore whether any of these can be brought to a conclusion".
The sale comes just a year after Green tentatively entered the supermarket price war by vowing to undercut Tesco when he tested the launch of BHS Food in two stores.
BHS sat under the Arcadia Group of brands which inludes Topshop, Burton and Miss Selfridge.