LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s Pensions Regulator has formally begun “enforcement action” against Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, to plug a hole in the collapsed department store’s pension fund, saying the billionaire had failed to provide a credible offer.
Green, 64, owned BHS for 15 years before he sold the loss-making 180-store chain to Dominic Chappell, a serial bankrupt with no retail experience, for one pound last year.
BHS went into administration in April and the last of its stores closed in August. Some 11,000 jobs were lost.
Green, whose Arcadia group owns a string of fashion chains including Topshop, sold BHS with a hole in its pension fund which had ballooned to 571 million pounds ($702 million) by the time it went into administration. If not filled, this will leave 20,000 pensioners facing significant cuts to their income.
The pensions regulator said it had sent ‘Warning Notices’ - statements of its case - to Green, his holding companies, Taveta Investments Limited and Taveta Investments (No. 2) Limited, to Chappell and his vehicle Retail Acquisitions Limited.
Each notice runs to more than 300 pages and sets out the arguments and evidence as to why the regulator believes the respondent should be liable to support the BHS pension schemes. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Gareth Jones)