Philip Green avoids sanctions over BHS but Chappell is banned
Despite heavy criticism over his role in the BHS collapse, Arcadia chief Sir Philip Green has avoided a ban on holding company directorships. However, Dominic Chappell, whose group bought BHS for £1 in 2015, has been told by the Insolvency Service that he, and three other ex-BHS execs, might not be able to be company directors for another 15 years.
BHS collapsed in 2016 with the loss of 11,000 jobs. The failure also led to huge problems for retail landlords as many of the firm’s large sites proved difficult to let and a big chunk of them are still empty.
MP Frank Field, who has been feuding with Sir Philip for several years, criticised the Insolvency Service saying that it pursued weak target Chappell while fighting shy of going after the much stronger Arcadia boss.
“This is the same tired old story of the establishment powers being strong on the weak, and weak on the strong,” he said.
But the Insolvency Service said: “We can confirm that we have written to Sir Philip Green, also a former director of BHS, informing him that we do not currently intend to bring disqualification proceedings against him. As this matter may now be tested in the court it is not appropriate to comment further.”
Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years, during which time he tried to turn it around, before selling it to Chappell’s group for £1. BHS had a £571 million pension deficit when it went under and in a later deal, Sir Philip pumped £363 million into the fund.
His spokesman said this week: “Sir Philip and his fellow directors have cooperated fully with the Insolvency Service since its investigation commenced in May 2016 and welcome this decision.”
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