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Topshop/Topman set to relaunch in Australia as Arcadia steps in buy failed franchisor’s assets

Arcadia, the UK-based fashion business headed by Sir Philip Green, has stepped in to rescue the failed Topshop and Topman chain in Australia.

Four stores out of nine standalone units in the country will now be reopen, directly operated by the UK-based Arcadia, saving around 300 jobs out of 760.

There is, however, no news of the 17 concessions within Myer stores which also shuttered with the department store group having since written off its 20% share in the franchise.

The business, owned by Austradia (trading as Topshop and Topman in Australia) collapsed into voluntary administration three months ago. But now Green’s Arcadia has bought back local key assets, a move seen as the logical outcome following lengthy discussions with administrators Ferrier Hodgson.

“The administrators are delighted with the outcome of our discussions with Topshop/Topman as it finalises a successful restructure and rightsizing of the business in Australia,’’ Ferrier Hodgson spokesman Ryan Eagle said.

“Throughout this process we have considered the optimal operational structure of the business, ensuring the brand will continue in the local market and to preserve a significant number of jobs within the business,” he added, confirming the new owners would employ more than 290 people working at stores at Gowings and Bondi Junction in Sydney, Emporium in Melbourne and Brisbane City.

A spokesman for Arcadia added: “We are excited to operate directly in the Australian market and look forward to delivering unparalleled fashion to our customers.”

Green had initially sold the Australian franchise of the banners to a group of local investors that included retailer and businessman Hilton Seskin and department store Myer.

Debuting in Australia in 2011, Topshop and Topman made losses of A$3m last year, generating a loss of A$0.6m for Myer on its own accounts linked to its investment.

In July, as part of a broader profit warning, Myer said it would write off its A$6.8m stake in Topshop franchisee Austradia, writing down the entire remaining value at that time of its stake in the retail chain.

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