Sir Philip Green is in early talks to sell a batch of his Bhs stores to Primark as part of a cost-reduction exercise across his Arcadia brands.
It is the second group of stores he will have sold to Primark. Last year, Primark snapped up 10 Bhs leases. Green bought the clothing-to-homeware shops as British Home Stores from the listed retail conglomerate Storehouse for around £185m in 2000. It was then a chain of around 160 outlets.
Sir Philip has in the past held talks to sell the entire Bhs business, but did not close a deal. Instead, he is working on a strategy of closing some of his Arcadia stores where leases are coming to an end.
He is also putting brands such as Dorothy Perkins and Burton into his larger Bhs stores in a bid to cut costs by reducing the overall rent bill.
Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), will buy the stores as part of its planned expansion programme in Britain and Europe.