SYDNEY (Reuters) - Retail tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group Ltd is in preliminary talks to take control of its troubled Australian franchise partner for his Topshop brand, a representative for the Australian firm said.
The franchisee, Austradia Pty Ltd, called in administrators this week just six years after launching in Australia, highlighting soft consumer spending and intense online competition hitting brick and mortar retailers.
“Following ... discussions with Sir Philip Green and his Arcadia Group team, we are reviewing a potential structure that would see Arcadia Group take a controlling interest in the Australian business,” the firm’s administrator, James Stewart, of Ferrier Hodgson, said in an email.
Stewart added that his and Green’s priority was to “develop an appropriate operating model and structure that will continue the Topshop/Topman brand in Australia”.
Austradia is one-fifth owned by Australia’s biggest department store Myer Holdings Ltd. Shares in Myer fell 4.4 percent on Thursday on the news that Austradia had called in administrators.
Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Edwina Gibbs