Fate of BHS to be announced

BHS’ fate is to be decided later today with an announcement from their administrators. Since the announcement of their administration in April, there have been continuing efforts to save it and prevent its 11,000 staff from losing their jobs. There have been a number of bids to acquire the retailer, but if a deal cannot be struck, it is possible that the business may have to be liquidated.

Greg Tufnell is said to be the forerunner, pushing the other bidders including includes Matalan tycoon John Hargreaves into the background. The lesser known of the Tufnell brothers, Greg Tufnell, is said to have all the credentials for the job. He describes himself as “a highly experienced managing director with Mothercare and Arcadia, a blend of entrepreneur, strategist and hands-on operator with significant commercial business turnaround, acquisition and fund-raising experience”.

John Hargreaves, until Greg Tufnell’s bid was received, was assumed by many to be the favourite. Mr Hargreaves is famously quietly-spoken and does not enjoy the limelight; in fact, he is no longer directly involved in Matalan following the sale of his 69% stake.  

There have been other bidders discussed but if a deal cannot be reached, Duff & Phelps the administrators have already organised three firms to act as liquidations. The matter complicating proceeding is BHS has been selling its stock on a large discount sale which has reduced the value of the assets and this will increase the cost for a new owner to replenish items.