A consortium involving British high street retailer Next and New York-based hedge fund manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management is reportedly the lead contender to buy Topshop.

The Sunday Times reported the news, which also added that the bidding may draw over $272m.

The deadline for submission of final bids is 18 January, and the sale could conclude by the end of this month.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group entered into administration in November due to the tough conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arcadia is the parent firm of Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burton among others. The company operates 500 outlets under its various brands. It employed 13,000 at the time collapse.

The group appointed Deloitte’s Matthew David Smith, Daniel Francis Butters, Gavin Maher and Robert Scott Fishman as joint administrators.

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Authentic Brands, which launched a joint bid with British sports fashion retailer JD Sports and more are among the other bidders.

The Guardian quoted Next chief executive Simon Wolfson as saying that it was “only interested in the brands that we think are very, very good”.

If finalised, it would be a minority shareholder.

In December, the administrator sold Arcadia owned Evans brand and Evans eCommerce to City Chic Collective in a deal worth £23m.