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Newstalk

12.08 12 May 2019


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British entrepreneur Philip Green is no longer a billionaire, after his fortune halved in a year according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The retail tycoon has seen his fortune plummet by a whopping stg£1.05bn (€1.21bn) in 12 months and it now stands at stg£950m (€1.09bn) - compared with nearly stg£5bn (€5.78bn) in 2007.

It is the first time he has not held billionaire status since 2002.

Green (67) and his wife Tina are now 156th on the British list, down from joint 66th some 12 months ago.

His Arcadia Group - which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins - was valued as worthless in this year's Rich List, as the company copes with a pension debt which hit stg£565m (€653m).

The couple's stake in the firm was last year valued at stg£750m (€867m).

Robert Watts, who compiled the list, said he struggled to envisage Green returning to the "upper echelons".

"Sir Philip Green may have clung on to his knighthood, but we can no longer justify his status as one of the UK's billionaires," Mr Watts said.

"This is the first time since 2002 he has not been in that top tier of the UK's super rich individuals."

The devaluation comes after sustained criticism against Green and calls for him to lose his British knighthood.

He was lambasted over the collapse of BHS, affecting 11,000 jobs, 19,000 pension holders and leaving a stg£571m in the pension scheme.

The businessman, who sold the department store chain to Dominic Chappell for stg£1 (€1.15) before it plunged into administration, agreed to pay stg£363m (€419m) towards the deficit.

Green has also faced a string of allegations of racism, sexual harassment and bullying.

Last October, Labour's Peter Hain used parliamentary privilege to identify him as the businessman behind a court order against the UK's Daily Telegraph in relation to the claims.

Meanwhile in February, police in the US said they were investigating claims the tycoon groped a fitness instructor at a luxury resort.

Green has said he "categorically and wholly" denies allegations of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.


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Arcadia Group British List Burton Dominic Chappell Orothy Perkins Peter Hain Philip Green Retail Robert Watts Sunday Times Rich List Topshop

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