Billionaire Philip Green will be questioned by U.K. lawmakers on June 15 as part of an inquiry into the collapse of BHS Ltd., the retail chain he used to own.
Green will appear before a joint hearing in London of two parliamentary committees that are looking into the sale of BHS by Green’s Arcadia Group Plc to Retail Acquisitions Ltd. for 1 pound and his part in allowing the retailer’s pension deficit to swell.
The Work & Pensions and Business Committees will also hold sessions next week questioning advisers and management of BHS and RAL, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s co-head of investment banking services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Anthony Gutman, an adviser to Arcadia, the panels said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday.
“We will want to explore how Retail Acquisitions Ltd. was considered to be a suitable buyer for BHS, an apparently struggling high-street store which was saddled with a large pension deficit, Iain Wright, who heads the Business Committee, said in the statement. “We will want to untangle the nature of the advice, both formal and informal, which was provided to Arcadia and RAL as part of the sale process.”
BHS appointed administrators last month to protect against insolvency. Among the company’s problems is a pension deficit of 571 million pounds ($831 million). When Green bought the business for 200 million pounds in 2000, the plan was fully funded. BHS subsequently paid dividends of 420 million pounds to its owners.