Topshop Stake Sale Agreed By Sir Philip Green
Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has confirmed the sale of a 25% stake in his Topshop and Topman chains for £500m.
The move, which was exclusively revealed by Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman on Tuesday, values the two high street brands at £2bn.
Kleinman said the sale added credence to Sir Philip's ambition of becoming a global retail magnate as it was aimed at funding an international expansion programme.
The buyer of the stake is Leonard Green & Partners (LGP), one of the joint owners of the American clothing business J Crew, and it is understood that the LA-based private equity firm was in talks over an agreement for some months.
It marks the biggest deal for Sir Philip since his efforts to take over Marks & Spencer failed eight years ago and sees his Arcadia Group, which also owns Bhs, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, pocket the proceeds of the equity sale.
It means Arcadia is debt free and has cash to fund further investment.
Kleinman said that it was an attractive proposition for LGP as Topshop, which currently has 615 franchised shops across 39 countries, had enjoyed soaring growth fuelled by its knack of producing on-trend clothing at affordable prices.
Its partnership with the supermodel Kate Moss has also kept it in the tabloid headlines and raised the profile of Sir Philip's business.
Topshop outlets in the US have performed well since flagship stores opened in Chicago, Las Vegas and New York.
Arcadia's six other brands, which also include Miss Selfridge, are not included in the transaction.