'No one to blame' for collapse of BHS, insists owner Dominic Chappell
No one is to blame for the imminent collapse of BHS, owner Dominic Chappell has insisted.
The beleaguered high street chain will file for administration today, threatening almost 11,000 jobs.
Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Chappell said: "No one is to blame. It was a combination of bad trading and not being able to raise enough money from the property portfolio.
"In the end, we just couldn't reach an agreement with Arcadia over pensions."
He added that he will continue to work with the administrators Duff & Phelps to "find a solution post the administration".
BHS was bought last year by a consortium called Retail Acquisitions, headed by Mr Chappell, for £1 from retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Arcadia retail empire.
BHS has debts of more than £1.3 billion, including a pension fund deficit of £571 million. Sir Philip is reported to have offered £80 million towards the cost of BHS pensions, though the regulator could still pursue further payment from the retail billionaire.
Sir Philip bought BHS for £200 million in 2000.
Rival retailer Sports Direct is understood to want to some of BHS's 164 stores, but will only do so if it does not have to take on any pension liabilities.
A formal announcement is expected just before noon.