Retail billionaire Philip Green paid back the entire £808 million that he borrowed to buy retail group Arcadia. Arcadia owns TopShop, Burton, Wallis and Miss Selfridge, among others. Two years ago Green paid £850 million for Arcadia, and with the recent repayment of the entire borrowed amount, he is able to add hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends from the group to his acquisitions portfolio.

Green and his family, who have an estimated personal worth of £ 3.6 billion, earned £40 million in dividends from department store chain BHS, which they own separately from Arcadia. The latter will be releasing results later this week.

Green's recently rebuffed bid for ailing high-street retailer Marks & Spencer, earlier this year, was well publicised. Speculations that he will return to bid for the company again may be hindered by the large amount of private shareholders in M&S, with an estimated stake of between 20% and 25%. Advisors to M&S expect the smaller shareholders to hold on to their shares in a pending £2 billion buyback tender offer, whereas institutional shareholders are expected to tender their M&S shares in the offer. This will result in the smaller shareholders owning a larger stake of approximately 30%, because their shares in issue will rise proportionately.

Green believes that the board will have to recommend any takeover offer in order for the company to succeed, but in light of the fact that his archrivals, Stuart Rose and Paul Myners, sit on the board, this recommendation is not likely to take place. According to one advisor, private investors usually follow suggestions made by the board, and predicts that the board will form a blocking stake next week.


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