Arcadia is set to launch a far-reaching CVA as soon as next month, with a substantial number of store closures and job losses expected.
The process is expected to be formally launched in late April or early May with discussions with landlords being held over the coming weeks, Sky News has reported.
Arcadia was first reported to be considering restructuring its property portfolio in January by The Daily Telegraph.
The business, which includes the brands Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans and discount fascia Outfit, has suffered in recent years due to the rise of youth-oriented fast-fashion etailers such as Asos and Boohoo.
The CVA would require the approval of both creditors and the Pension Protection Fund. Sir Philip Green is reportedly in talks with the Pensions Regulator, which will only endorse a CVA if it is happy the restructured Arcadia will be more likely to be able to meet its pension contributions.
Arcadia is being advised by Deloitte while its pension trustees are being advised by EY.
Arcadia’s pension deficit was £565m in 2017 – the business now pays £50m a year into a scheme designed to reduce that debt.
Green has been under scrutiny by the regulator since the collapse of BHS and the government’s subsequent finding that Green had sold the business to Dominic Chappell in 2015 to avoid pension obligations.
Arcadia operates around 570 standalone stores as well as hundreds of concessions.