Boohoo in talks to acquire Arcadia brands

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By Scott Wright

BOOHOO group, the online fashion specialist which this week acquired the Debenhams brand, is closing in on another retail coup.

The fast-rising player confirmed that it is in “exclusive negotiations” with the administrators of Arcadia, the retail giant built by Sir Philip Green, over the acquisition of its Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton fashion brands.

It comes just four days after boohoo clinched a £55 million deal to acquire the intellectual property assets of historic department store group Debenhams. Boohoo purchased the Debenhams brand and website, but there was no deal for its 100-plus store estate. The Debenhams stores are expected to close, with the loss of around 12,000 jobs.

Boohoo now appears to be striking a similar deal for some Arcadia brands.

It said in a statement to the stock market: “The Group confirms that it is in exclusive discussions with the Administrators of Arcadia over the acquisition of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton (excluding HIIT) brands.

“These discussions may or may not result in agreement of a transaction. A further announcement will be made when appropriate.”

Meanwhile Asos, another online fashion retailer, said it is in exclusive talks to buy other parts of Arcadia. Asos reported on January 25 that the talks centre on its interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands, stating: “The Board believes this would represent a compelling opportunity to acquire strong brands that resonate well with its customer base.”

Arcadia called in the administrators at Deloitte in December, putting around 13,000 jobs at risk.

The retailer had cited pressure on trading from protracted periods of store closures because of coronavirus restrictions in the days immediately before.

Arcadia ran 444 stores across the UK before it entered administration.

Shares in boohoo group closed up 4.9p at 338.9p.

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