Legal Business Blogs

Weil and DLA take lead roles as retailer BHS enters administration

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has advised British department store chain BHS as it filed for administration today (25 April), with DLA Piper expected to work on behalf of the administrators.

An attempt to secure a rescue package last week failed, putting around 11,000 jobs at risk. With 164 stores across the UK, the retailer has a total debt of £1.3bn and a pension deficit of £571m which could be bailed out by the government-backed Pension Protection Fund.

The company was sold by Arcadia Group chairman Sir Philip Green in 2000 for just £1 to a group of city investors called Retail Acquisitions as the brand struggled against more fashionable high street competition from the likes of Primark and H&M. Green had originally bought the chain for £200m in 2000.

Weil London head of restructuring Adam Plainer has advised BHS alongside restructuring partner Mark Lawford.

Duff & Phelps has been named as administrators to BHS. DLA Piper will advise the restructuring firm led by Leeds-based partner Colin Ashford.

The firm is a longstanding adviser to Duff & Phelps, working alongside administrators on the sale of tourist attraction Fantasy Island in Skegness as a going concern to the international leisure group Mellors Group earlier this year.

DLA also advised Duff & Phelps on the restructuring and sale of a group of five property owning companies to Starwood Capital Group in 2015 and the sale of Sceptre Leisure to the Gauselmann Group in the same year, in a transaction which saved over 350 jobs.