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Topshop owner's reputation in shreds

Press AssociationPress Association 25/07/2016

Sir Philip Green is the permatanned king of retail whose reputation - and potentially his knighthood - has been left in tatters by the collapse of former high street staple BHS.

A bold, brash wheeler-dealer, he has amassed along with his wife, Lady Tina, a fortune that currently stands at STG3.22($A5.67 billion), according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The vast majority of that fortune comes from the Arcadia retail empire, which he bought in 2002 and which controls brands including Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.

That empire has allowed them to live life in the fast lane, a world of superyachts, apartments in Monaco and friendships with the likes of supermodel Kate Moss.

But it is BHS, which he bought in 2000, that has seen Green in the news - and in front of MPs - in recent months.

Its collapse in April left 11,000 people out of work and a STG571 million black hole in its pensions fund.

The Topshop tycoon has come under fire for taking STG400 million in dividends from BHS before selling the massively indebted firm for STG1 in 2015 to businessman Dominic Chappell, who had no previous retail experience and had been declared bankrupt twice.

Green's knighthood, which is being reviewed in the wake of the store chain's collapse, was awarded in 2006 for "services to the retail industry".

That came two years after he made a failed STG9 billion bid to buy iconic high street chain Marks and Spencer.

Green was brought up in south London, sent to a private school in Berkshire and went straight into wholesaling shoes and selling jeans.

He made his name when buying and carving up the Sears empire in the late 1990s, ironically selling Wallis and Miss Selfridge to Arcadia.

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