The Qatar-based Al Mana Group has agreed to buy nearly all the international branches owned by the beleaguered British fashion chain BHS, according to Sky News.
In a deal that is expected to be announced later today, Al Mana will run more than 70 of the non-UK branches and operate its website. A price tag for the agreement has not been disclosed.
The Qatari company currently holds franchise rights for BHS stores in Qatar, which are particularly popular with residents during its sales periods.
The family fashion and homewear chain has branches in Landmark Mall, City Center and in Al Mana Towers on C-Ring Road.
Al Mana has a diverse portfolio of businesses, including 55 companies in eight countries, according to its website.
Its retail division is run by Wissam Saleh Al Mana, executive director and one of the sons of Saleh al Hamad Al Mana, who founded the group in 1951.
The retail head is also married to pop star Janet Jackson.
Al Mana’s retail portfolio is dominated by designer brands such as Hermes, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga in the GCC, but also includes the rights to operate chains like Go Sport.
BHS has been in administration (akin to pre-bankruptcy) since April, following reports of a giant pension deficit for its UK operations.
It previously operated more than 150 stores in the UK, but many of these have shut down in recent years.
Last year, Sir Philip Green sold the entire company for £1 to former racing driver Dominic Chappell, who tried to separate its more profitable international operations from the British business, the FT reported.
Speaking to the newspaper yesterday, Chappell said:
“(I am) genuinely very pleased that it’s gone to a group like (Al Mana) because they will drive it forward. We’re obviously disappointed because we were trying to buy it, but there you go.”
This is the first deal to be secured by BHS and it remains unclear how the company’s 10,000 staff at its head office and shops in the UK will be affected.