Philip Green admits BHS sale mistake but says he acted honourably
He sold the ailing chain to Chappell for just £1 in 2015 only for it to collapse and embroil him in a row over its pension fund deficit in the following year.
Green claimed Chappell had portrayed himself as a plausible new owner for the business back in 2015 and that he was taken in. “Clearly with what subsequently occurred, I and our board were wholly misled by everyone involved with [Chappell]. Was it the worst mistake of my life? Yes, it was. Horrible. Ugly,” he said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.
“You've got no idea how much front this guy has. More than Selfridges and Harrods put together. Those people who know me know there is no way on this planet this business would have been sold to him if I had even a millionth of a thought process he would do what he did.”
A committee of MPs has said that Chappell showed “negligence and cavalier disregard for the risks and potential consequences” for buying a chain with a large and growing pension black hole and also accused him of greed and of taking money out of the business.
Green later agreed to pay £363 million into the pension fund to partially plug its gap.
In the interview he said he was sad that nobody had recognised that he did the right thing by writing the £363 million cheque. He has since been cleared of wrongdoing after a major Insolvency Service investigation that also saw Chappell being banned from holding company directorships.
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