Sir Philip Green faces more pension questions from Frank Field

People walk past Topshop, Oxford StreetImage copyrightGetty Images

MPs are to scrutinise pension schemes at the retail empire of Topshop boss Sir Philip Green.

Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, said the move follows reports Sir Philip was in talks to sell all or part of his business.

The Sunday Times claimed that the billionaire had held talks with Chinese textiles giant Shandong Ruyi.

Sir Philip Green faces more pension questions from Frank Field
Sir Philip Green faces more pension questions from Frank Field

Mr Field, who clashed with Sir Philip over BHS’s collapse, told the BBC Sir Philip may have questions to answer.

Sir Philip’s Arcadia group, whose brands also include Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, has 2,800 stores across the world.

However his flagship brand, Topshop, has struggled against competition from the rise of online rivals such as and Asos.

According to latest figures profits at Taveta, Arcadia’s holding company, fell 79% in 2016.

Last year, Sir Philip revamped management in a bid to revive the brands.

Sir Philip, aged 65, could not be reached for comment and the Sunday Times’ report has not been confirmed.

However, Mr Field said his committee would now “look at the state of Sir Philip Green’s pensions schemes and whether he can sell to whomever he wants without having some very important questions or putting in some money into the whole Arcadia pension pot”.

The move risks re-opening a long-running feud between Sir Philip and the Labour MP, whose Commons committee last year investigated the sale and subsequent collapse of BHS.

The failed high street chain was left with a huge pension deficit, although Sir Philip later agreed a £363m cash settlement with the Pensions Regulator to plug the gap.

Mr Field has criticised Sir Philip’s actions, and last August the businessman sent a legal warning to the MP.

Shandong Ruyi has been expanding in Europe. It has bought controlling stakes in the Swiss luxury leather goods company Bally and London-listed fashion manufacturer Bagir.

The Chinese company bought Acquascutum last year for £95m.

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