US buyout firm comes shopping for a stake in Sir Philip Green's Topshop empire

Sir Philip Green in talks to sell a quarter of the high street fashion chain in deal worth £250m

Sir Philip Green is in late-stage talks about the sale of a 25 per cent stake in his Topman and Topshop empire, a deal that could see him net £250m.

The retail entrepreneur hopes to sign a deal with the US private equity house Leonard Green & Partners as soon as this week. Retail sources say confirmation could come on Thursday.

While Sir Philip himself declined comment, analysts put the value of the empire at around £1bn. The cash injection in return for a sale of the chunk of the company would enable Sir Philip to quickly expand a business in which he has invested huge amounts of time, money and faith.

He has already taken Topshop to New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, and believes there is a huge market for its wares. It has become possibly the best-known fashion house in Britain in the recent years, raising its profile with sell-out collections by the supermodel Kate Moss and the designer Celia Birtwhistle.

Earlier this year, he struck a deal with Nordstrom, the New York-listed department store chain, to sell Topshop and Topman-branded clothing in up to 100 outlets.

LGP has a track record in the fashion trade as part owners of the US chain J Crew, a clothes company of which the US first lady, Michelle Obama, is a high-profile fan. Founded in 1989, LGP is one of the biggest private equity houses in Los Angeles. It has also taken stakes in Rite Aid and Whole Foods Market, among many other investments.

If Sir Philip pulls the deal off – the indications last night were that he would – it would make him one of the few UK business people who can truly claim to have cracked America.

Other retailers have struggled in the US, with even the mighty Tesco now battling to make its Fresh & Easy format work amid pressure from shareholders to cut losses and concentrate on its home market.

Topshop is presently part of Sir Philip's Arcadia empire, which includes Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.

Although the structure of this deal is not yet clear, it seems likely that the other parts of the business will be ring-fenced from Topshop. Sir Philip is expected to tell staff that he remains firmly committed to the other brands which are not part of this deal.

Sir Philip and his wife, Tina, are one of the wealthiest couples in the world, with a fortune estimated at £4bn.

Sir Philip famously tried and failed to take over Marks & Spencer in 2004, a bid that was resisted by the board of the company.

The spectacular deal to sell a stake in Topshop will be Sir Philip's most significant business transaction since he failed with his second attempt to buy Marks & Spencer eight years ago.

A larger-than-life figure, Sir Philip has been the focus of campaigners complaining about the tax arrangements of the rich.

Two years ago campaigners staged a sit-in at Sir Philip's flagship Topshop store in Oxford Street, and in Brighton a few demonstrators glued themselves to the branch windows, while other high streets in towns and cities across Britain saw similar protests in a day of action against the tax arrangements of rich individuals and big businesses.

Although he and Tina are based in Monaco, he points out that Arcadia has paid more than £2bn in tax since he acquired the business, including £591m in corporation tax.

Unveiling Arcadia's annual results last month, Sir Philip said profit before exceptional items rose from £133.1m to £166.9m in the year to 25 August.

Sir Philip is a prominent supporter of the Conservative Party, coming out in support of David Cameron and George Osborne just before the last General Election.

On behalf of the new Government, he carried out a so-called Efficiency Review into whether government spending and procurement could be better value for money.

Sir Philip is a big football fan with links to Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • 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

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: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor