BHS taps hedge funds for £70m turnaround support


Retail Acquisitions, the new owners of UK department store BHS, is seeking a £70m funding to support the brand’s ongong turnaround.

The management team is understood to have approached potential lenders, including hedge funds, about a loan secured against BHS’ assets, according to various reports. The funds are required by the end of September when the next rental bills are due.

“We have said all along that we would refinance to help accelerate the turnaround plan for the UK business,” Retail Acquisitions said in a statement.

The 100-store clothing and homewares retailer lost £85m before tax last year and has been hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance to its suppliers, some of which have had to stop trading with it as a result.

BHS told The Sunday Times: “We have always said we would refinance the business in order to bring in further cash to invest in its future and implement the turnaround plan for the next two to three years. We are talking to a number of mainstream finance houses, as you would expect, and we are confident about the future.”

Sir Philip Green, the owner of Arcadia Group, sold BHS for £1 to a little-known Retail Acquisitions consortium earlier this year.

Green has said he sold BHS “nice and tidy”, with plenty of cash and assets on its balance sheet. On the eve of the deal in March, BHS sold the building next to its headquarters in London’s Marylebone for about £40m.

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