Retail tycoon understood to be close to clinching a deal
Philip Green is understood to be close to clinching a deal for Etam UK as the bid process for the French-owned womenswear chain nears its conclusion.

Green was involved in a consortium, but is now believed to be taking his bid forward personally as one of two final interested parties. He would not comment on Etam, but said: 'Like a lot of other retailers [he was] constantly looking for store sites'.

But sources said Green is keen to add Tammy Girl, part of the Etam UK business, to his stable, with restructuring businesses waiting in the wings for the other assets he does not want. If Green is successful in his bid, Etam will be his first acquisition since he bought Arcadia.

Teen brand Tammy Girl was launched in the UK in the early 1980s and has been the quiet success story in the past decade for Etam. However, the Tammy Girl brand has stumbled in the past year. The Etam group reported a consolidated net loss of E56.4 million (£38.6 million) in the year to December 31 after incurring losses in the UK of E76.4 million (£52.3 million).

Like-for-like sales for the year in the UK were down 7.2 per cent compared with total group sales down 2.4 per cent. The group last week appointed former Harrods chief executive Richard Simonin as chief executive officer.