Sir Philip Green is no longer listed as a billionaire in the new Sunday Times Rich List, which valued his high street fashion empire as “worthless” as it struggles with pensions debt as well as harassment and bullying scandals.
The tycoon, whose Arcadia Group includes brands such as Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, is believed to have seen his fortune halve over the last year, according to the annual ranking of the UK’s top 1,000 wealthiest people.
Sir Philip and his wife Tina were placed 156th in the 2019 list – down from joint 66th last year – with riches of £950m.
Robert Watts, who compiled this year’s rankings, said he doubted the tycoon would ever return to the “upper echelons” of Britain’s financial elite.
“Sir Philip Green may have clung on to his knighthood, but we can no longer justify his status as one of the UK’s billionaires,” he added. “This is the first time since 2002 he has not been in that top tier of the UK’s super-rich individuals.”
Sir Philip has faced sustained criticism since the controversial collapse of the BHS department store chain in 2016, which led to the loss of 11,000 jobs and left a pension deficit assessed at £571m.
A parliamentary investigation found the company had been systematically plundered by its owners and described a hole in its pension fund as “the unacceptable face of capitalism”.
Sir Philip has also been dogged by sexual harassment, racism and bullying claims.
Earlier this year, US police investigated allegations that he groped a female executive and made sexual comments at a ranch in Arizona. The retail tycoon was said to have attempted to buy the woman’s silence with more than £1m, but he denied any wrongdoing and said authorities had closed the case.
He is also alleged to have referred to a black employee “throwing spears in the jungle” while drawing attention to his dreadlocks.
Five staff signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to keep their complaints confidential and The Daily Telegraph fought a legal battle to report the allegations.
Indian brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the third time this year with a fortune of £22bn. Their family’s Hinduja Group has interests in oil and gas, banking, IT and property.
Controversial chemicals firm founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is leading the drive to develop fracking in the UK, slipped to third place with an estimated fortune of £18.1bn after topping last year’s rankings.
The wealthiest woman in Britain is Sigrid Rausing, granddaughter of the man who invented Tetra Pak packaging. She is reportedly worth £12.2bn and ranked sixth.
Entrepreneur Valerie Moran, jointly worth £122m with her Irish husband, became the first black female woman to make the list.
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