Some of the UK’s largest landlords have united to demand a larger stake in Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, as part of the Arcadia Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Commercial landlords, such as Aviva, British Land and Hammerson are planning to appoint advisers to manage negotiations with Arcadia over the next few weeks. According to Sky News, which first reported the story, city sources said that independent advisory firm; PJT Partners are first in line to advise the collective of at least six landlords.
Arcadia store owners have already been offered a 10% stake in the company, in return for backing the deal and Green is said to have pledged a further £50m secured loan upon the approval of the CVA.
CVAs have become widespread in the UK retail industry and are a form of insolvency where companies agree with creditors to write off some of their debts.
The retail group – which owns fashion chains, including Topshop, Evans, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – previously announced, in March this year, it was in the process of exploring an Arcadia CVA as part of its turnaround plan and bought back a 25% stake in its Topshop brand last month.
GlobalData UK retail research director Patrick O’Brien said: “It’s obvious that Arcadia needs to shut stores and the CVA has been long anticipated. However, the details regarding the CVA have not been announced.
“The deal negotiations the landlords are pushing for are workable. The problem for Arcadia and most CVAs, is that the main focus is on cutting costs. The main issue should be whether there is anything in the plan to revitalise product ranges, which are increasingly becoming uninteresting to its target market.
“If the Arcadia CVA focus is just to cut costs, to give them more time, it will not help them create a long-term sustainable business plan.”