Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has confirmed it is considering buying Arcadia brands such as Topshop.
“We do tend to look at almost everything on the High Street,” Frasers’ chief financial officer Chris Wootton told the BBC’s Today programme.
He also said Frasers Group was still in discussions around potentially buying Debenhams.
The Sports Direct owner has reported a rise in profits, despite a sharp fall in sales thanks to better margins.
Mr Wootton said it was still the case that Frasers Group is interested in Arcadia brands “but the process has only just started so there’s a long way to go as to ascertain what – if anything – we look at with that”.
The once-mighty Arcadia retail empire, which also includes Burton and Dorothy Perkins, entered administration on 30 November, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.
Frasers Group’s sales were down 7% for the half year to 25 October, compared to the same period last year, because of temporary store closures during the coronavirus lockdowns.
However, pre-tax profits for the period were at £106m, up from £90m last year, due to stronger margins and improved efficiencies, the company said.
Debenhams has said its 124 stores will close – and 12,000 workers will lose their jobs – unless a last-ditch buyer can be found.