Green bidding to match Hinchliffe on high street

Philip Green, the former chairman of the What Everyone Wants retail group, added another high street chain to his growing high street interests yesterday when he acquired the Mark One women's fashion shops.

Mr Green paid more than pounds 7m cash for the 95 stores which collapsed into administration 10 days ago with debts of pounds 17m. Mark One recorded losses of almost pounds 2m on sales of pounds 95m last year.

With Olympus Sports, the Xceptions group of discount shops and the 13 Owen Owen department stores, Mr Green presides over a group of almost 400 shops with sales of around pounds 500m. He is challenging Stephen Hinchliffe, the Sheffield entrepreneur, as the saviour of all things collapsing on the high street.

Commenting on his latest purchase Mr Green said: "It's an interesting group put together in under three years. They are all valuable businesses in their own right. It's not a property play. We are going to run them for a profit.

"If you look at the businesses I've got - department stores are back in vogue, sportswear is booming and Mark One is in value for money fashion which can do very well."

He added that he had no plans to take his company public: "No thanks."

For Mark One, Mr Green beat off competition from Shami Ahmed of the Joe Bloggs jeans company who had also offered pounds 7m for the company. Mr Green said there would be rationalisation which would include some head office job losses. However, he does not plans to put his purchases under one company to achieve economies of scale. They will all be run as seperate businesses.

Analysts remain mystified about his intentions. John Richards, at NatWest Securities said: "I'm not sure what he's up to. I'm not sure he has a gameplan or if he just feels Mr Hinchliffe needs competition."

Mr Green, who left the What Everyone Wants group Amber Day in 1992, has built his retail group in less than three years. He acquired Xceptions in May 1993 and the 13 Owen Owen department stores in 1994. Last November he combined with Tom Hunter of Sports Division to pay pounds 25m for Olympus Sports. That deal gave him 128 high street branches, 22 out-of-town stores and 55 in-store concessions. He has also bought and later sold the One UP chain of variety stores and a stake in Owen & Robinson.

Mark One's creditors are expected to receive around 50p in the pound from the administrators. Neville Kahn of joint administrators Coopers & Lybrand said: "On Friday we went to court and were granted an order to sell the business and assets to the best cash offer." He said he believed the deal would save over 2,000 jobs.

Mr Green said he was pleased to have captured Mark One after a long battle with Mr Ahmed of Joe Bloggs. "I feel like I've gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before