BHS (British Home Stores), which was founded in 1928, was bought by Sir Philip Green in 2000. It became part of the Taveta group, which is ultimately controlled by Lady Green, in 2009. On 11 March 2015 it was sold to Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL), owned by Dominic Chappell. BHS went into administration on 25 April 2016 and now faces being broken up: putting 11,0000 jobs at risk as well as being the end of a longstanding fixture of the British high street.
The Committee chose to investigate BHS because:
'...it encapsulated many of our ongoing concerns about the regulatory and cultural framework in which business operates, including the ethics of business behaviour, the governance of private companies, the balance between risk and reward, mergers and acquisitions practices, the governance and regulation of workplace pension schemes, and the sustainability of defined benefit pensions.'
The report considers the actions and conduct of those who owned and operated BHS, those involved in the company's March 2015 sale and acquisition, and those responsible for protecting the pension fund.
- Chapter 2: Shows how the Green family became incredibly wealthy, partly on the back of BHS, but in doing so reduced the capacity of the company to invest and succeed.
- Chapter 3: Sets out the growth of BHS’s pension deficit and the repeated failure of Sir Philip Green and his directors to take opportunities to resolve it.
- Chapter 4: Explains how BHS was hurriedly sold to Dominic Chappell and his company Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL), who came to the deal with no new money or sustainable means of raising any. It also explores the role of advisors.
- Chapter 5: Considers corporate governance in the Taveta group.
- Chapter 6: Examines the Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL) ownership of BHS.
- Chapter 7: Conclusions.
- Chapter 8: Recommends further action.The Committee has stated that it supports investigations by the Financial Reporting Council, the Pensions Regulator, the Insolvency Service and the Serious Fraud Office.
Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0
For the evidence submitted to the inquiry and other information, please see: