First Alan Sugar, now Philip Green

Green has been in talks with the retail investor since Friday. The Arcadia boss, whose portfolio includes TopShop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, is looking to buy a chunk (possibly all) of Baugur’s debt, valued at over £1bn.

Rumour has it that Green is using his own cash, rather than private equity, to finance the deal.

He spoke to Reuters yesterday about the ongoing process: “I need to do some more work,” he said. The British billionaire retorted, when questioned over whether he was trying to acquire the entire business and not just its debt: “It’s one and the same thing.”

Baugur’s presence on the high street is significant. The firm owns Jane Norman, Whistles, with 49 per cent stakes in Karen Millen and Oasis. Perfect for Green, who already holds a 12 per cent market share of the UK clothing retail sector.

Green and Baugur chairman Jón Asgeir Jóhannesson are already well acquainted: Baugur owns the TopShop franchise in Iceland. All that remains to be seen is whether their long-term friendship will give Green the edge over fellow scavenger and retail boss, Iceland-founder Malcolm Walker.

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