Green sells retail chain holding

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The Independent Online

Philip Green, former chairman of the What Everyone Wants retail chain, has sold his stake in Owen & Robinson, the troubled retailer which was placed in administration last year.

Mr Green has sold both his 16 per cent equity stake and the pounds 6m of bank debt he acquired last year to a consortium led by Maurice Dwek, Owen & Robinson's chairman.

Mr Dwek now plans to refloat the company on the stock market and concentrate on its Foothold chain of 58 sports shoe shops which are profitable. In what the company is claiming is a fresh start, it has also renegotiated the high rents on certain stores which have placed so much pressure on the group.

Rodney East and Keith Miles, former managing director and finance director of Etam, the fashion chain, are also joining the Owen & Robinson board as non-executives.

Shares in Owen & Robinson were suspended at 16p last July when it said the closure of its jewellery business was costing more than expected.

Mr Green took effective control of the company when he acquired the bank debt from the TSB. Since then he has acquired the Olympus Sports chain from Sears in a deal with Tom Hunter, Scottish sports retailer. He also controls the Owen Owen department store chain.