Sir Philip Green sells loss-making BHS for just £1

The company was sold debt free, but one of the issues hampering deals has been the losses made by the chain. In 2013, it lost £69.6m on £675.7m of sales, down 3.5 per cent on the previous year.

Founded in 1928 in London’s Brixton, BHS has 180 stores and employs almost 12,000 staff.

The consortium is led by stockbroker Keith Smith, formerly of City firm Nabarro Wells, and also includes entrepreneur and former racing driver Dominic Chappell, as well as Spanish firm Olivia Petroleum.

Sir Philip, who is the chairman of the Arcadia Group, a retail giant that includes Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Evans, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Outfit said: “I am pleased that we have found a buyer in Retail Acquisitions Ltd who wants to develop the BHS brand. I am confident that Retail Acquisitions Limited have a platform to grow the business and return it to profitability.“

Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at broker City Index, said Retail Acquisitions Ltd faces a “monumental” challenge in trying to turn around the fortunes of BHS.

Green has been looking to sell the loss-making BHS business for years and now he has found a buyer, he can finally draw a line in the sand.”

“BHS has struggled to adapt to the digital age and increasing competition on the high street,” Mr Raymond added. “The challenge Retail Acquisitions now faces is monumental.”

Retail analyst Richard Hyman, of the richardtalksretail website, said that the decision to sell “will have been as close to painful for Sir Philip as any business decision will ever be”.
“His purchase of the brand was a master stroke.

“He saw value and restructuring potential which allowed him to go on and buy Arcadia and try to buy M&S too,” Hyman added.