Sir Philip Green's Arcadia empire is in trouble
Sir Philip Green's Arcadia empire is in trouble.
Two weeks ago the company published a plan to cut costs - called a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Today - remarkably - a number of Arcadia's landlords refused to back it.
Intu, Aberdeen Standard, Legal & General Investment Management, Aviva, M&G, Land Sec all voted against some of seven CVA proposals that were tabled, forcing Arcadia to adjourn the creditors meeting until next Wednesday.
Sir Philip plans to close around 50 Arcadia stores and wants to cut rents on nearly 200 others, in some cases by up to 70%.
Sir Philip is offering sweeteners: landlords will get 20% of any future sale of the business as well as £40 million in compensation but many landlords want him to dig deeper.
Arcadia postponed the meeting when the company realised that it had a rebellion on its hands. The CEO, Ian Grabiner, says there is a "reasonable prospect of reaching agreement" with the landlords who have rebelled in the next seven days. He doesn't say how. Tonight one landlord told me "we're in for seven days of emotional arm-twisting but emotional arm-twisting will not be enough".
Yesterday, Arcadia managed to reach a settlement that secured the support of the Pensions Regulator and the trustees of Arcadia's pension schemes for the CVA, but the landlords have the power to scupper it.
If landlords vote down this CVA next Wednesday then Arcadia has said it is "highly likely" that Group - Top Shop, Top Man, Evans, Miss Selfridge, DP - will go into either administration or liquidation.