Sir Philip Green wins US legal battle with landlords over Topshop cash

Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green has emerged victorious from a legal battle with a group of American landlords, after a court dismissed their claim seeking to recoup losses from the bankruptcy of Topshop USA.

Arcadia, Green’s retail empire, is now free to move cash, generated from liquidating stock in Topshop’s 11 American stores, back to Britain — as well as money that had been frozen in its US bank account.

The funds will be used to repay some of the debts owed to creditors affected by Arcadia’s company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Five US landlords, led by property giant Vornado, were seeking to recoup more than £100m. They claimed that the CVA — an insolvency procedure used by Green to shut 50 stores in the UK and cut rents on a further 194 — compromised their rights as foreign creditors. They were seeking more information on Arcadia’s corporate structure.

The American court ruled that landlords could submit their claims in British courts. Vornado, which owns Topshop’s Fifth Avenue store, said last month that it planned to challenge Arcadia’s CVA.

It will need to move before a July 15 deadline. Green is said to have fallen out with Vornado chief executive Steven Roth.