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Retail uncertainty

China’s Shein poised for TopShop as Next pulls bid

TopShop Edinburgh

Top Shop may be acquired by a Chinese group (pic: Terry Murden)

Next has dropped its plan to bid for the TopShop chain in the closing stages of the auction of Sir Philip Green’s former high street empire.

A consortium comprising Next and Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a US investment firm, withdrew from the process being run by Arcadia Group’s administrator.

The withdrawal may clear the way for Shein, a Chinese online fashion retailer, to buy one of the best-known brands on the high street.

The move surprised the market, with a separate process being run for other Arcadia brands such as Burton and Dorothy Perkins.

A Next spokesman told Sky News: “Next plc announces that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire any, or all, of the Arcadia Group from the administrator, as our consortium has been unable to meet the price expectations of the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

“Next was bidding as part of a joint venture with Davidson Kempner.

“Next wishes the administrator and future owners well in their endeavours to preserve an important part of the UK retail sector.”

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