Topshop is set to fall into foreign hands following the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s High Street empire. 

Chinese fast fashion giant Shein and US investment firm Authentic Brands appear to be going head to head to buy Topshop and sister company Topman out of administration after a bidding war. 

They have already seen off a rival offer from Next and are thought to be in pole position despite continued interest from Asos and Boohoo. 

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green's Topshop brand

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green's Topshop brand

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green’s Topshop brand

Topshop is the crown jewel in the Arcadia business – which also includes Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge – and is now being broken up. 

Arcadia collapsed into administration last month, putting 13,000 jobs at risk and leaving Green’s already tarnished reputation in tatters. 

The administrators have been looking for a buyer of the whole company, or the individual brands, with bids submitted at the start of this week. Plus-size womenswear brand Evans has already been sold for £23m. 

A price tag of more than £300m is being mooted for Topshop and its 168 shops. Next was unable to match the deep pockets of Shein and Authentic Brands, which want a trophy asset as a launch pad into the British market. 

Sources said Asos is still ‘very interested’, meaning there is a chance Topshop could remain in British hands. Green bought Arcadia in 2002 for £850m, and three years later handed a £1.2billion dividend to his wife Tina, who is its registered owner. 

Topshop became the leading brand in the business, and hosted collections by Kate Moss, while Green became an adviser to David Cameron when he was prime minister. But Arcadia collapsed under the strain of the pandemic after years of underinvestment and a failure to grow online – and Shein is believed to be in pole position to claim its most recognised brand. 

Founded in 2008, Shein has become the biggest online fashion brand in the world and is the third most visited fashion site in the UK behind Next and Asos. 

It has put fast fashion on steroids, getting clothes to market in days at rock bottom prices that ‘make Primark look expensive’. It sells 30,000 items per day in the UK boosted by social media campaigns. 

It will face off against Authentic Brands, which has teamed up with JD Sports for the bid. The US investment company has hoovered up a series of casualties Stateside including Brooks Brothers, Forever 21 and Barneys, and has been hunting for a UK target. 

Asos, an online-only seller, has sought to grow its own brands but believes Topshop would be a good fit, in part because it already sells its products on its website and it remains popular with 20-somethings. 

Boohoo is also still in the race. Boss Mahmud Kamani could see Topshop as a trophy asset to take the fast fashion retailer into High Street aristocracy. It raised a £200m war chest from shareholders last year to buy brands that went bust during the pandemic. 

But the firm’s recent run of acquisitions has focused on bombed-out brands such as Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen, bought at rock bottom prices. 

‘Boohoo are very good at bottom-fishing,’ one insider said. ‘I don’t think they would know how to make money out of something you had to pay a proper premium for.’

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Topshop is set to fall into foreign hands following the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s High Street empire. 

Chinese fast fashion giant Shein and US investment firm Authentic Brands appear to be going head to head to buy Topshop and sister company Topman out of administration after a bidding war. 

They have already seen off a rival offer from Next and are thought to be in pole position despite continued interest from Asos and Boohoo. 

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green's Topshop brand

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green's Topshop brand

Supermodel: Kate Moss promoting Sir Philip Green’s Topshop brand

Topshop is the crown jewel in the Arcadia business – which also includes Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge – and is now being broken up. 

Arcadia collapsed into administration last month, putting 13,000 jobs at risk and leaving Green’s already tarnished reputation in tatters. 

The administrators have been looking for a buyer of the whole company, or the individual brands, with bids submitted at the start of this week. Plus-size womenswear brand Evans has already been sold for £23m. 

A price tag of more than £300m is being mooted for Topshop and its 168 shops. Next was unable to match the deep pockets of Shein and Authentic Brands, which want a trophy asset as a launch pad into the British market. 

Sources said Asos is still ‘very interested’, meaning there is a chance Topshop could remain in British hands. Green bought Arcadia in 2002 for £850m, and three years later handed a £1.2billion dividend to his wife Tina, who is its registered owner. 

Topshop became the leading brand in the business, and hosted collections by Kate Moss, while Green became an adviser to David Cameron when he was prime minister. But Arcadia collapsed under the strain of the pandemic after years of underinvestment and a failure to grow online – and Shein is believed to be in pole position to claim its most recognised brand. 

Founded in 2008, Shein has become the biggest online fashion brand in the world and is the third most visited fashion site in the UK behind Next and Asos. 

It has put fast fashion on steroids, getting clothes to market in days at rock bottom prices that ‘make Primark look expensive’. It sells 30,000 items per day in the UK boosted by social media campaigns. 

It will face off against Authentic Brands, which has teamed up with JD Sports for the bid. The US investment company has hoovered up a series of casualties Stateside including Brooks Brothers, Forever 21 and Barneys, and has been hunting for a UK target. 

Asos, an online-only seller, has sought to grow its own brands but believes Topshop would be a good fit, in part because it already sells its products on its website and it remains popular with 20-somethings. 

Boohoo is also still in the race. Boss Mahmud Kamani could see Topshop as a trophy asset to take the fast fashion retailer into High Street aristocracy. It raised a £200m war chest from shareholders last year to buy brands that went bust during the pandemic. 

But the firm’s recent run of acquisitions has focused on bombed-out brands such as Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen, bought at rock bottom prices. 

‘Boohoo are very good at bottom-fishing,’ one insider said. ‘I don’t think they would know how to make money out of something you had to pay a proper premium for.’

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