Arcadia tycoon Sir Philip Green is confident that there is still a place for BHS on the high street if it is run with single-minded focus.
The retail entrepreneur, who has offloaded BHS to Retail Acquisitions for an undisclosed sum, said he will now concentrate fully on his Arcadia business, including Topshop, which is expanding fast internationally.
And he believed BHS would benefit from owners that devote all their energies to it.
He said: “If somebody spends 100% of their time I think they can do fine - but it needs 100%.”
BHS was a landmark deal for Green and preceded his acquisition of Arcadia, but he maintained the deal was right for the business.
He said: “It’s a happy-sad day. We’ve spoken to all the managers and the staff. There are people we’ve worked with for 15 years.”
But he believed he had found the best new owners for BHS. Green said: “I didn’t want some restructuring firm. I wanted it to be as a going concern.
“The commitments they [Retail Acquisitions] made, made me comfortable. It’s got to work though.”
Asked whether he has retained any interest in BHS, Green replied: “I’m out.”
He said: “I’m just focusing on Arcadia full-time.”