The future of BHS looks to be more promising amid reports that administrators Duff & Phelp have received “multiple offers” for the ailing business. Potential bidders had until 5pm yesterday to put forward firm proposals with Sky News saying that there had been five bids for the bulk of the business.
Those said be interested in buying most of BHS’s 164 outlets include Sports Direct, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Preston-based millionaire property owner Yousuf Bhailok. Meanwhile, Ikea, Pep&Co, the Co-operative and B&M, are reportedly amongst the suitors interested in parts of the department store chain. The group’s former owner, Retail Acquisitions, is also said to have submitted a bid.
Bhailok, who has setup an investment vehicle called Retail Revive, confirmed yesterday that he had formally lodged its interest with administrators and promised not to extract money from the retailer for three years if he is successful. His plans for the business include introducing more concessions, boosting its online business and growing its franchise operations in the Middle East.
With bids now received, a formal process will take place whereby the best offers are taken to secured creditors for approval. A buyer could be chosen as early as this week, although deliberations are expected to continue for some days.
- Having parked the pension deficit, a new owner will need to assess the profitability of every outlet, and sell off those that are a drain on the business, before exploring the viability and potential of the current business model
- (There may be buyers among the secondary bidders seeking sites that are complementary to their current locations)
- Previous suppliers to BHS need to check out possible prices & terms disparities re their relationships with the new owners…
- …but deep down, the real issue will be the extent to which the brand has been damaged – terminally? – by the surrounding controversy…