Next has withdrawn from negotiations to buy collapsed retail empire Arcadia, it has emerged.
The firm was said to be a frontrunner to take on Sir Philip Green’s group, which tumbled into administration in December, casting doubt on the future of its 13,000 employees,
However, the high street stalwart, which was bidding for the group in partnership with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner, said this morning it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”.
It is understood that final bids for the troubled Topshop owner set by administrator Deloitte were due on Monday, although there could be some flexibility.
Retailers including Boohoo, Frasers Group, and JD Sports in partnership with US retail giant Authentic Brands, have also been considering acquiring some or all of Arcadia’s stores.
Deloitte is expected to receive bids worth more than £200m, and Chinese online retailer Shein has tabled an offer for Topshop and Topman worth over £300m, according to Sky News.
Last month, administrators agreed the sale of Arcadia’s plus-sized brand Evans to Australian firm City Chic Collective in a £23m deal.
Leicestershire-based Next – which is led by Conservative peer Lord (Simon) Wolfson – last year struck licensing deals with Victoria’s Secret and Laura Ashley after they collapsed into administration.
It has been one of the retail success stories of the last 12 months, having posted better than expected Christmas revenues.