A group of US property owners have launched legal action against Sir Philip Green’s Topshop business after its bankruptcy there.
Five landlords, who claim to have lost more than £100m as a result, have filed an objection in a US bankruptcy court, The Sunday Times reported.
The landlords, led by Vornado, claim that Arcadia “manipulated and gerrymandered” the separate CVA process in the UK leading to the “complete forfeiture and deprivation” of their rights.
Arcadia, which last week won approval for its CVA after a second creditors’ meeting, launched Topshop in the US in 2009 and it expanded to 11 branches. However, the shops are being shut and stock liquidated.
Topshop will still sell in the US through its website and concessions in department store group Nordstrom.
The property owners want the court to hold the retailer’s US assets and proceeds from the liquidation in an escrow account and stop the return of cash to the UK.
Vornado chief executive Steven Roth was said to have fallen out with Green. Vornado owns the Topshop premises on New York’s Fifth Avenue, a store that is understood to account for almost half of the retailer’s £27.6m US rent bill. The retailer lost £23.6m on sales of £83.3m in the States in the year to August 2017.
Another US landlord, Simon Property Group, alleged Arcadia had been treated like a bank.
Deloitte, which is advising Arcadia, maintained that the US court should reject the landlords’ claims and that the CVA was irrelevant to the US business.