LONDON (Reuters) – ASOS has bought the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from the administrators of Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia group for 265 million pounds ($364 million), the British online fashion retailer said on Monday.

The deal for Arcadia’s prized brands, which will be fully funded from cash reserves, does not include its 70 stores, putting thousands of jobs at risk and underlining the transfer of power towards online retailers.

Green’s Arcadia empire fell into administration in November owing creditors hundreds of millions of pounds and threatening more than 13,000 jobs.

Its collapse was the biggest corporate failure of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for ASOS and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy,” said ASOS Chief Executive Nick Beighton.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further.”

While the internet has been reshaping the British retail landscape and the clothing sector for more than a decade, multiple lockdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19 have accelerated the move to home shopping.

On Friday, ASOS’s rival Boohoo said it had entered into exclusive talks with Arcadia’s administrators, Deloitte, over the purchase of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands.

If a deal is struck there it would complete the break-up of Green’s empire.

Established in 2000, ASOS has grown quickly. Its shares closed Friday at 4,735 pence, valuing the business at 4.47 billion pounds.

ASOS has also bought 30 million pounds of stock, while about 300 Arcadia employees across design, buying and retail partnerships will transfer to the group.

It said incremental core earnings from the deal in its 2020-21 year would be offset by initial ramp-up costs.

There would also be additional one-off restructuring and transaction costs of about 20 million pounds.

($1 = 0.7279 pounds)



Source: Reuters

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