Sir Philip Green is close to signing a deal to fund the pensions of ex-BHS staff, according to reports.
The billionaire Arcadia owner may be days away from finalising a provisional deal which is likely to cost him £350m, Sky News reported.
The deal with the Pensions Regulator would salvage the pensions of tens of thousands of former BHS employees, but sources cautioned that the deal still contained “moving parts”, saying that it could yet be delayed.
While any deal would have to give better terms than those offered by the lifeboat Pension Protection Fund (PPF), pensioners could still be out of pocket.
Sir Philip pledged to “sort” the BHS pensions deficit when he appeared in front of a high-profile select committee last summer.
But in November, the Pensions Regulator began legal proceedings against him and Dominic Chappell, the former bankrupt to whom he sold BHS in 2015, to try to accelerate the deal.
Work and Pensions Select Committee chairman Frank Field, who has become Green’s bête noire over the past eight months, said: “The key test is whether pensioners and future pensioners will get from this deal the pensions they expected before Sir Philip took ownership of BHS.
“The committee will be very pleased if there is a deal but will carefully analyse it to assess whether existing and future pensioners have been disadvantaged, and we may well call Sir Philip and the Pensions Regulator back to give evidence if the deal is unsatisfactory in this regard.”