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Boohoo Looking to Buy 3 Arcadia Brands

Boohoo Group plc on Friday said it is in exclusive discussions with Arcadia Group administrators to potentially acquire three of its apparel brands.

The fast-fashion e-tailer, which is looking at Dorothy Perkins, Walls and Burton, but not HIIT, cautioned that the “discussions may or may not result” in any agreement for a transaction.

On Monday, Boohoo’s online rival Asos said it was in exclusive talks to acquire HIIT, Miss Selfridge and Arcadia’s crown jewels, the Topshop and Topman brands.

The latest talks follow Boohoo’s agreement, also disclosed on Monday, to acquire the bankrupt Debenhams nameplate. The purchase was just for the intellectual property and related assets.

Presuming acquisition of the Arcadia brands by Boohoo and Asos, in addition to the purchase of Debenhams, the U.K. retail sector would see more than 25,000 retail jobs lost and over 500 stores closed.

Dorothy Perkins was the largest concession operator at Debenhams, and held a sizable presence in the department store’s operation. Boohoo will not be operating any Debenhams stores and is not expected to acquire stores from a potential Arcadia deal.

Last year Boohoo acquired the online operations of bankrupt Oasis and Warehouse, and in 2019 bought the Karen Millen and Coast brands out of administration. Other brands under Boohoo’s corporate umbrella include MissPap, PrettyLittleThing and NastyGal. The company last May raised 198 million pounds ($248.5 million) to take advantage of acquisition opportunities as retailers struggled to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.