|Stats: 295 members, 6,566 topics. Date: May 28, 2017, 9:29 am|
The BHS brand will disappear from British high streets on 20 August with the closure of the stricken chain's final stores, administrators will say next week.
Sky News has learnt Duff & Phelps is expected to announce on Monday the remaining 114 BHS shops will cease trading within four weeks, although many will close their doors for the last time before that date.
Their closure will directly affect more than 5,000 shopworkers, although the precise number who will lose their jobs was unclear on Saturday.
The news has been anticipated since efforts to find a buyer for the whole of BHS fell apart in early June, six weeks after the chain collapsed into administration.
The timing of the store closure announcement will be excruciating for Sir Philip Green, whose decision to sell BHS for £1 last year will be severely criticised by MPs in a coruscating report to be published on the same day.
It emerged on Friday the Cabinet Office is reviewing Sir Philip's knighthood, which could be stripped from him by Her Majesty The Queen if the move is recommended by the forfeiture committee.
The Commons Business Select Committee and its Work and Pensions counterpart are expected to accuse Sir Philip of failing to safeguard the interests of BHS's pension scheme members.
The TopShop tycoon promised to "sort" BHS's estimated £600m pension deficit during a six-hour hearing last month, although he is said to be still some way from reaching a deal that is acceptable to the Pensions Regulator.
To do so, he is likely to have to write a cheque for several hundred million pounds, although the precise structure of a rescue deal for pensioners could take months to finalise.
Roughly 50 BHS stores have already closed, with the loss of more than 1,300 jobs.
New tenants have been lined up for some BHS shops, although few details have emerged of successful efforts to find new jobs for the 11,000 staff who worked at the chain.
About 3000 of the total workforce were employed by concession operators in BHS stores, including those run by Sir Philip's Arcadia Group.
The MPs' inquiry, which has been running in tandem with probes by the Insolvency Service and Pensions Regulator, is also expected to single out Dominic Chappell, the former bankrupt to whom Sir Philip sold BHS, for heavy criticism.
Other parties, including a number of City advisers, may also be accused of failing to perform their duties in a responsible way.
During hours of evidence sessions, Parliament heard allegations of myriad secret payments, property transactions and negotiations over the yawning deficit in BHS's pension schemes.
Sir Philip gave a vigorous defence of his tenure as the owner of BHS, saying he had invested £420m in the chain.
He dismissed as "nonsense" the suggestion that he had intervened to prevent a rescue deal involving the Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.
On Friday, a court approved the appointment of FRP Advisory as BHS's joint administrator, a role that will involve examining the conduct of past directors of BHS.
FRP was appointed at the instigation of the Pension Protection Fund, BHS's biggest unsecured creditor.
The PPF has estimated that the cost to it of meeting BHS pensioners' retirement payments would be at least £275m,
Duff & Phelps, which secured a successful sale of BHS's online and international operations to Qatar's Al Mana Group, declined to comment on Saturday.
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