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25 Jan 2021

Deloitte LLP's response re. Arcadia Group administration

... [T]he Joint Administrators entered into discussions with suppliers to facilitate the release of stock in transit or held with freight forwarders. Under the Company’s terms and conditions of trade, as agreed with the vast majority of its suppliers, title to goods ordered passes to the Company as soon as the goods are shipped. A goodwill payment was offered to suppliers for their support in releasing this stock through the UK freight forwarders, which will be paid following receipt of the stock into the distribution centres. As title to the stock had already passed to the Company, the Joint Administrators were not under any obligation to make any payments for this stock... and had the stock not been released then suppliers would only have been able to claim as an unsecured creditor for amounts owed on this stock...

By releasing this stock, this has enabled the Joint Administrators to consider further stock orders, and we are happy to confirm that such future orders (which have been made by the Group companies whilst in administration and accepted by the Group’s suppliers) will be paid in full as an expense of the administration...

[W]e are confident that we are fulfilling our duties to all creditors and doing all we can to achieve the best possible outcome going forward by seeking to deliver a sale or sales of the Group’s various businesses / brands. Suppliers will be able to consider their position and are free to choose whether to engage with the new owners going forward.

...[N]obody is disputing that the Group owes money to suppliers for product it has ordered, and the suppliers’ claims remain valid as against the relevant Group company. However, it is the very nature of an insolvency proceeding that there is not sufficient money to pay all creditors everything that they are owed... Assuming sufficient funds can be realised, a dividend will be paid to unsecured creditors by the relevant Group company, and the creditors of that company (including trade suppliers) would therefore receive a further payment towards their arrears at the relevant time.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Joint Administrators’ were not responsible for any decisions made prior to 30 November 2020, including any previous decision to cancel or delay orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[The full response is attached]