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Next scraps Topshop buyout offer

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Next PLC (LON:NXT) has reportedly scrapped its bid to acquire Philip Green’s collapsed high street clothing chain Topshop.

The FTSE 100 retail giant was understood to be the frontrunner in the bidding war with partner Davidson Kempner, a US hedge fund.

READ: Next frontrunner to snap up collapsed Topshop owner Arcadia

The brand’s owner, Arcadia Group, entered administration at the start of December and Deloitte was expecting the final bids on Monday this week.

The former fashion empire includes other brands, such as Burton and Dorothy Perkins, but Deloitte is managing their rescue process separately from Topshop.

It is understood that Chinese online platform Shein is now the most favoured buyer for Topshop with a GBP300mln offer.

boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO), ASOS PLC (LON:ASC) and a partnership between Barneys department store owner Authentic Brands and JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD.) are also in line.

“Next PLC announces that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire any, or all, of the Arcadia Group from the administrator, as our consortium has been unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor,” the firm told Sky News.

Arcadia folded with an estimated GBP350mln pension black hole that Green is under pressure to plug.

Last month, its fashion brand Evans was sold to Australian firm City Chic Collective for GBP23mln, although the deal did not include the plus-sized clothier’s store network but just the brand, its customer base and inventory.

Shares in Next dipped 2% to 8,002p on Friday morning.

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