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Asos shares surge on plans to buy Topshop

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Asos shares jumped on Monday morning as the online retailer confirmed it was in exclusive talks to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and Hiit brands.

After Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group fell into administration last year, there have been various discussions by retailers to buy the brands.

Last week, Next ended talks to buy Topshop and Topman. The retailer said is wished “the administrator and future owners [of Arcadia] well in their endeavours to preserve an important part of the UK retail sector”.

“The board believes this would represent a compelling opportunity to acquire strong brands that resonate well with its customer base,” said Asos in a statement this morning, leading shares to surge over 5% to 5,056p.

According to Sky News, Asos has put in an offer of over £250m. Asos is reportedly not interested in buying the stores and will keep the brand online – risking many jobs.

Arcadia collapsed in November 2020 and was the biggest corporate casualty of the pandemic in the UK. It employed about 13,000 people and had 444 shops when it collapsed.

The news comes as Boohoo announced plans to buy the Debenhams in a £55m deal.

The deal was announced this morning and whilst Boohoo is buying the brand’s name and website – it will not save the 118 department stores, which will all close and result in up to 12,000 job losses.

Boohoo said in a statement: “The group will only be acquiring the brands and associated intellectual property rights. The transaction does not include Debenhams’ retail stores, stock or any financial services.”

Asos shares (LON: ASC) are trading +5.18% at 5.036,00 (0933GMT).

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