Released by Sir Philip Green, Thursday 6th December, 2012:
I am pleased to announce that we have completed the sale of a 25% equity interest in TOPSHOP/TOPMAN Limited to Leonard Green & Partners (LGP).
Leonard Green & Partners are a US based private equity firm with a long and successful history of investing in the retail sector. Their category-leading investments include Whole Foods Market, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, Petco and The Container Store. The transaction, which was completed yesterday, values the TOPSHOP/TOPMAN business at Two Billion Pounds (£2,000,000,000). Both TOPSHOP/TOPMAN and the rest of the Arcadia Group now have no bank debt and are in positive cash. All the funds received will remain in the Arcadia Group, enabling us to continue to drive all of our businesses. Being debt free gives us the balance sheet and flexibility to look at other opportunities to consolidate or acquire, either on our own or in partnership with LGP, who have substantial capital available in their new fund. Under my family’s ownership we have continued to invest in and grow the TOPSHOP/TOPMAN brands. Having had extensive dialogue over several months, the Board felt that LGP becoming our partner would be extremely beneficial. Their experienced management teams and knowledge of retail in the USA will greatly assist TOPSHOP/TOPMAN with their global expansion.
Both the TOPSHOP/TOPMAN businesses are very cash generative, and with LGP alongside us, our plan is to step up our international investment programme as relevant locations present themselves in the USA and around the world. This is a very exciting time for the Arcadia Group, with a clear strategy now in place for TOPSHOP/TOPMAN to become major global players. All of our other businesses will continue to be invested in and developed. We look forward to working with LGP as our new partner and also with all of our great long-serving executives and staff within the company.
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