Pensions Regulator was informed of BHS sale, says Sir Philip Green

11 May 2016 (Last Updated May 11th, 2016 18:30)

UK businessman Sir Philip Green has rejected a claim by Pensions Regulator chief executive Leslie Titcomb that she had learnt of the sale of BHS from the press.

UK businessman Sir Philip Green has rejected a claim by Pensions Regulator chief executive Leslie Titcomb that she had learnt of the sale of BHS from the press.

Green stated that the regulator had been sent an email on 6 February 2015 about the plans to sell the chain. He announced the sale on 12 March.

He also added that he had met with the regulator on 4 March regarding the sale of the loss-making business, which was then part of his Arcadia retail group, reported The Guardian.

"We were not given sufficient information at that time to assess the potential impact on the BHS pension scheme."

Green said that the Titcomb had supplied ‘incorrect’ evidence to MPs.

The regulator’s spokesman was quoted by the BBC as saying that although the chief executive had known about the sale, she had insufficient details.

The spokesman said: "We did discuss the proposed terms of a potential deal with trustees and the employer, however, we were not given sufficient information at that time to assess the potential impact on the BHS pension scheme."

This is the latest controversy surrounding the collapse of BHS.

In February, pension trustees met Dominic Chappell, who eventually acquired the chain. BHS pension scheme chairman Chris Martin supported Green’s claims, reported The Guardian.

However, the Pensions Regulator claimed that Green was ‘not approached for clearance’ before the deal. The body also stated that it was ‘not given sufficient information’ to review the impact of the sale on pension scheme.

BHS fell into administration last month and had a pension deficit of up to £571m. Green owned the chain for 15 years, before it was sold for £1 to Retail Acquisitions, a consortium led by Chappell.