THE GUARDIAN REPORTED: More than a third of an £8.4m loan taken out of BHS by its new owners in March last year went to four directors who were part of the consortium, handing them a multimillion-pound windfall just days after buying the struggling department store chain.
The Guardian understands that £3m was shared between four directors of Retail Acquisitions Limited – Dominic Chappell, the man who led the buyout of BHS, Eddie Parladorio, Mark Tasker and Stephen Bourne, who has since resigned. Chappell is thought to have received the largest portion of the funds.
Retail Acquisitions took the loan out of BHS days after buying the business for £1 from Sir Philip Green. It has said the loan was for professional and financing fees.
|£1 richer....Sir Philip Green is on the right...|
Former racing driver and discharged bankrupt, and BHS boss Dominic Chappell said no one is to blame for the collapse.
He told the Press Association: "No one is to blame. It was a combination of bad trading and not being able to raise enough money from the property portfolio.
"In the end, we just couldn't reach an agreement with Arcadia over pensions."
He added that he will continue to work with the administrators Duff & Phelps to "find a solution post the administration".
The company was bought last year by a consortium called Retail Acquisitions for £1 from retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green.
The retailer has debts of more than £1.3 billion, including a pension fund deficit of £571 million.
The administrators [ Duff & Phelps ] may well keep BHS trading whilst they seek buyers for parts of the business, but if members of the public have outstanding credit vouchers or gift cards unredeemed, it would be prudent to rapidly get down to your nearest BHS and cash them in before the systems are frozen.
Paul Williams Insolvency PractitionerManaging Director
Its not looking too good for one of Peterboroughs major retail brands, and there could well be a prime ground floor site up for rental in Queensgate Shopping Centre, as BBC News (and a few hours later SkyNews) are suggesting UK retailer BHS could file for administration as early as Monday threatening 11,000 jobs.
As part of its application, it revealed a deficit in its pension scheme of £207 million, and sought to transfer its schemes to the Pension Protection Fund....the actual deficit figure today is thought to be much higher at around minus £280 million... ouch!
Talks are continuing with Sports Direct to buy some of BHS's 164 stores but it is understood any buyer would only do so if it did not have to take on its £280m pension deficit.
Last year BHS was sold by the 'offshore' entrepreneur Sir Philip Green for £1..( or was it his wife? ) Oh, what a good deal Sir Phil! Fancy a football team?
E&OE google.com/+JulianBray Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 .