Sir Philip Green sells 25% of Topshop to fuel transatlantic growth spurt
By Rebecca Burn-Callander Wednesday, 05 December 2012
Billionaire Philip Green has sold 25% of his Topshop chain to US private equity group Leonard Green and Partners. The deal values the business at a cool £1bn.
Sir Philip has assumed the throne as king of British retail (not that there are many retail royals left vying for the crown these days). He has sold a quarter of wunderbrand Topshop in order to continue the brand's highly lucrative (and successful) international expansion.
The deal won’t just net the billionaire some £250m, it will also expedite his world domination plans for the Topshop and Topman brands. 'This is a very exciting time,' says Green. MT’s buttons are tingling.
Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) owns US fashion chain J Crew and Sir Philip has been in talks with the Los Angeles-based firm for the past few months.
Bringing a US investor on board is a canny move from the Monaco-domiciled Green. He has already opened three Topshop outlets in the States and plans to launch a further 20; having a man on the ground – and one with a little black book bursting with retail contacts through an existing J Crew investment – could prove invaluable when seeking sites and negotiating deals over there.
Incidentally, word on the clothes line is that J Crew is a favourite of the First Lady herself, Michelle Obama. Perhaps the joining of forces will soon see her cross the Topshop threshold..?
The deal values Topshop and Topman at a combined £1bn, which makes it the most lucrative franchise in British fashion. It’s also a decent return on Sir Philip’s investment: he paid £850m for the brands back in 2002.
Green has confirmed that none of the other clothing brands in the Arcadia wardrobe - Miss Selfridge, Bhs and Dorothy Perkins – will be affected.
MT couldn’t really imagine Michelle Obama in Bhs anyway…