Next walks away from Topshop bid, could Shein now win the prize?
The company seen as the frontrunner to win the Topshop/Topman auction surprised observers late on Thursday as it emerged Next had pulled out of bidding for the most valuable name in the basket of brands that made up Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire.
The high street giant had been expected by many to win the prize in a link-up with financial partner Davidson Kempner Capital Management, an American investment company.
Its exit was reported by Sky News, which also suggested that it means Chinese retailer Shein could well now emerge victorious with a bid of over £300 million. But Shein is an online specialist so it’s unclear whether it would want to take on the brand’s store chain.
And the issue that made Next walk away? The price. A spokesman told Sky News: "Next plc announces that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire any, or all, of the Arcadia Group from the administrator, as our consortium has been unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor. Next wishes the administrator and future owners well in their endeavours to preserve an important part of the UK retail sector.”
The report also said a handful of bids for Topshop had been received by the deadline earlier this week with the other Arcadia brands being auctioned in a separate process.
The Shein offer is reportedly “worth well over £300 million”. Other bidders are said to include online rivals Boohoo and Asos, as well as Authentic Brands Group in a link-up JD Sports Fashion.
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