Arcadia Group’s high street chain BHS has been put up for sale by the owner Sir Philip Green after posting a sales dip and pre-tax loss of £69.9m.
An Arcadia spokesperson has confirmed the move, saying: "We have had several approaches over the past few months. It is now the company’s plan to explore whether any of these can be brought to a conclusion."
Sources familiar with the matter say that Arcadia has already started receiving approaches for the struggling chain. Top majors such as Primark, Aldi, Lidl and discount fashion venture Pep & Co, are tipped to be the ones interested to acquire BHS.
With more than 185 stores, BHS would be the first major sale by Sir Philip, reports Independent.
Financial Times reports that any potential buyer will benefit from the acquisition as chain is debt free, owns few properties in prime locations and already has permits for food use in a number of stores.
BHS was bought for £200m by Sir Philip from the Storehouse Corporation in 2000. Arcadia also owns other brands as Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.
Industry sources say that BHS has failed to keep up with shoppers’ tastes over the years, leading to sagging sales. BHS posted a £69.6m pre-tax loss in 2013, with sales declining 3.5% to £675.7m, due to bail out of failing stores.