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Retail giant the Arcadia Group faces legal challenge from US property group Vornado

A challenge from a US property group could threaten a major restructuring of one of the high street's biggest players.

The Arcadia Group, which operates chains such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, with branches across Kent, had been threatened with slumping into administration earlier this year - with the immediate impact of dozens of shop closures and job losses.

But creditors agreed to a series of CVAs - company voluntary arrangements - in June which allowed the company time to restructure its debts in order to survive.

The challenge to the CVA for Topshop Topman comes from a US property group
The challenge to the CVA for Topshop Topman comes from a US property group

However, now US property group Vornado is challenging the CVAs for the Arcadia Group Ltd and Topshop/Topman.

It was one of a number of challengers in the US courts to the CVAs impacting on US operations which were later dismissed.

However, now the challenge is coming via the UK courts.

Arcadia owns the likes of Topshop and Dorothy Perkins
Arcadia owns the likes of Topshop and Dorothy Perkins

Bosses at Arcadia insist the restructuring work is already under way with rent reductions at 194 stores already been agreed, and 23 stores closing - including one in Kent, as part of a package of measures to protect the firm's portfolio of outlets.

Ian Grabiner, CEO of Arcadia Group, said: “These challenges are entirely without merit and we will vigorously defend them.

"The CVAs are a vital part of our restructuring, putting the business on a firm financial footing and enabling significant investment as part of our growth plans which will ultimately benefit all our stakeholders.

"These challenges are entirely without merit and we will vigorously defend them."

"Our group continues to trade as normal and we remain focused on delivering our turnaround plans.”

Arcadia is owned by retail mogul Philip Green.

A spokesman for Arcadia in the UK confirmed to KentOnline plans to put the firm on a stable footing will continue as planned, despite the legal proceedings.

Read more: For the latest business news for Kent

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