• The offer for BHS by the former Mothercare boss is understood to be the final rescue bid
  • Some executives are hopeful a deal could be announced today
  • The retailer is likely to be handed to liquidators if a deal cannot be reached this week

BHS administrators are racing to finalise a rescue bid for the embattled chain today with the Greg Tufnell-backed consortium, Richess Group.

The beleaguered department store chain, which entered administration in April as revealed by Retail Week, is understood to be in the last stages of talks with the consortium, according to Sky News.

People close to the situation have said that an agreement could be reached today. However, a deal is still “in the balance” as financial backing from Richess’ bid for the retailer’s 164-strong store estate is yet to materialise.

Insiders added that many of BHS’s 11,000 jobs could still be at risk even if a deal was reached, and that the business is likely to be handed to liquidators if an arrangement to buy the retailer out of administration is not finalised by the end of the week.

The wealthy Dos Santos family, who own the Portuguese supermarket chain Jeronimo Martins, were previously speculated to be providing capital for Richess’ rescue bid but have since denied involvement.

Previous bidders for the embattled department store chain include Matalan founder John Hargreaves and Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley. However, it is understood that former Mothercare and Next exec Tufnell is now the only remaining white knight.

Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field has also called for bosses of property company Allied Commercial Exporters, Guy and Alexander Dellal, to give evidence in ongoing parliamentary hearings on BHS’s collapse.

They will be grilled on June 7 over the funding for Dominic Chappell’s takeover of the retailer, which former owner Sir Philip Green sold for £1.