BHS owner Dominic Chappell moved £1.5m out of the company ahead of its collapse

Hazel Sheffield@hazelsheffield
Wednesday 27 April 2016 09:34
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Dominic Chappell, the largest shareholder in Retail Acquisitions, which bought BHS in March 2015 for £1
Dominic Chappell, the largest shareholder in Retail Acquisitions, which bought BHS in March 2015 for £1

The owner of BHS moved £1.5 million out of the company a week before its collapse as it became clear the retailer was going into administration.

Dominic Chappell, the majority shareholder in BHS-owner Retail Acquisitions, is reported to have moved the money to a company called BHS Sweden that is owned by a friend and fellow Retail Acquiditions board member. BHS Sweden appears to have no connections to BHS.

When Darren Topp, BHS chief executive, learned that the money had been moved, he ordered Mr Chappell to return it to the company.

It was returned minus £50,000 to reflect foreign exchange costs. The move was not illegal. It followed a board meeting on 18 April that concluded BHS would be faced with administration if it could not find emergency funding.

Dominic Chappell has not responded to requests for comment.

Administrators have reportedly received 50 expressions of interest for all or parts of BHS since it went into administration on Monday with a penisons deficit of £571 million.

Sir Philip Green, who sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions for £1 in March 2015, will be called before MPs to answer questions about his handling of the company, it has been confirmed.

Frank Field MP, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, has said that Sir Philip will be “invited to give evidence” before MPs about the BHS pension scheme.

Mr Field said that the committee will “look at the Pension Protection Fund and how the receipt of pension liabilities of BHS will impact on the increases in the levy that will now be placed on all other eligible employers to finance the scheme“.

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