18 May 2024, 21:37
By Furniture News Jun 09, 2016

BHS owner accused of death threats in ongoing inquiry

In the ongoing House of Commons inquiry into the failure of retailer BHS, the former owner Dominic Chappell has been accused by MPs of having his “fingers in the till”, and making a death threat to the retailer's boss Darren Topp after he was confronted for moving £1.5m out of the company just days before administrators were called in.

According to The Guardian, Dominic Chappell, who bought the retailer in 2015, has claimed that former owner Sir Philip Green was to blame for its collapse, and that he blocked a potential rescue deal from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

It has also been alleged that Dominic Chappell’s consortium, Retail Acquisitions, drew at least £17m from BHS, and put none of its own funds into the company.

The investigation was launched after BHS failed with an outstanding pension deficit of £571m, while Sir Philip Green among other investors collected more than £580m during his time there. The retail tycoon will be questioned by MPs next Wednesday.

Dominic Chappell admitted that he “knew nothing” about retail before buying the company, and apologised for the retailer's collapse, but criticised the previous owner's lack of investment and failure to arrange credit insurance, and is said to be considering legal action.

Efforts to find a buyer for BHS failed earlier this month, forcing the retailer into "an orderly wind down", leading to the loss of some 11,000 jobs. Administrator Duff & Phelps blamed the collapse on "seismic shifts" in the sector.

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