U.S. Private Equity Firm to Take 25% Stake in TopShop?

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London—Rumors are rife on both sides of the Atlantic that Leonard Green & Partners LP, the private equity group behind the J. Crew buyout, is planning to take up to a 25% stake in Topshop, the British retailer.

Details of the deal may be revealed Thursday, but new reports say that Sir Philip Green, the billionaire behind the Topshop and Topman chains, hopes that selling the stake to a major U.S. firm will help his expansion plans into the United States. Sources close to the deal said Tuesday that the deal would value Green’s Topshop business at about 1 billion pounds (about $1.6 billion).

The stake would purportedly be ringfenced from Sir Philip’s larger Arcadia Group, which owns other high street retail such as BHS, Burton and Miss Selfridge.

Sir Philip has already been successful with his TopShop entry into the United States, opening store in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. A Los Angeles store is slated to open next spring.

Earlier this year, Sir Philip landed another deal with Nordstrom to carry Topshop and Topman collections in up to 100 doors.

Tapping into TopShop would give Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) further clout in the fashion industry. Last year, LGP partnered with TPG Capital, another private equity firm in a $3 billion deal to take J. Crew private.

Founded in 1989, Los Angeles-based LGP is one of the biggest private equity firm and has recently stakes in BJ’s Wholesale, Neiman Marcus Group, Rite Aid and Whole Foods Market, among many other investments.


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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com