BHS’s former owner Dominic Chappell said talks with US investors were at a “mature” stage as he plans a bid to buy the beleaguered chain.

Chappell, the majority shareholder of Retail Acquisitions – which bought BHS for £1 last year from retail tycoon Sir Philip Green – told the BBC the administrator had been informed of his plan. He has reportedly expressed interest in buying the whole group minus 40 loss-making stores.

Retail Week revealed on Friday that BHS faced imminent collapse. Efforts continued over the weekend to try to revive the retailer but BHS went into administration on Monday.

However, sources told the BBC that Chappell’s offer had “limited credibility”.

In a letter to staff, Chappell said: “It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale.”

B&M eyes stores

The BHS administrator has reportedly received 50 expressions of interest in the company.

B&M is among the retailers eyeing the stores. Simon Arora, the boss of the Liverpool-headquartered value chain, told Retail Week: “There are a number of [BHS] stores we would be able to profitably trade. We are currently assessing the information.”

VAT demand

Meanwhile, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a warning notice last week for BHS to pay an outstanding £2.6m VAT bill within seven days, Sky News reported. 

Sources have also claimed the company was facing a demand for a further £10m in VAT following the sale of its Oxford Street store, which would have been due at the end of June.