BHS former owner and ‘Premier League liar’ Dominic Chappell evidence not correct, Goldman Sachs says

Chappell bought BHS from Sir Philip Green for £1 in March 2015

Hazel Sheffield
Tuesday 14 June 2016 18:46 BST
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Dominic Chappell appeared before MPs to answer questions over the retailer's collapse
Dominic Chappell appeared before MPs to answer questions over the retailer's collapse

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Evidence given by the former BHS owner Dominic Chappell at an enquiry into the collapse of the chain has been branded “not correct” by Goldman Sachs, days after a former financial adviser to the retailer slammed Chappell as a “Premier League liar”.

Chappell, a former racing driver who admitted at the hearing that he had “no retail experience”, bought BHS from Sir Philip Green for £1 in March 2015.

Anthony Gutman, a Goldman Sachs banker, advised Sir Philip on the deal.

In his account to MPs, Mr Chappell said he had met with Mr Gutman two or three times. This was denied by the bank, who said that Mr Gutman had only attended a meeting with Chappell once.

The bank also denied that the hedge fund, Farallon, was “very committed” to providing financing to Chappell’s company to allow him to buy BHS, saying that such interest was subject to due diligence.

BHS: Rescue deal was blocked

The letter, dated 10 June, says that Goldman Sachs does not believe it should have to appear in front MPs on the Business, Skills and Innovation Select Committee because it has co-operated so far and does not have any more information to give.

The revelations cast further doubt over the testimony of Mr Chappell, who was branded a “Premier League Liar” with his “fingers in the till” by a former financial adviser to BHS at an earlier hearing.

Michael Hitchcock, a former financial adviser to BHS, said Mr Chappell was “a Sunday pub league retailer, at best.”

“So many people believed him, but he was a liar,” Mr Hitchcock said, who had be hired to look into BHS’s finances after Darren Topp, the former chief executive, grew suspicious about Mr Chappell’s handling of the retailer’s affairs.

Asked why he thought Mr Chappell was a liar, Mr Hitchcock said he didn’t put in the money he had promised to when he bought BHS from Sir Philip.

Mr Hitchcock said Retail Acquisitions Limited, the company Mr Chappell used for the BHS takeover, put £10m into the business and took £17m out of it.

Sir Philip Green will face questions over why he sold BHS to Mr Chappell when he appears before the MPs on Wednesday.

Mr Chappell was in charge of BHS for less than a year, during which time the retailer was driving into administration.

The British high street stalwart went bust in April with a £571m pension deficit, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

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