Green hires Finsbury to assist Arcadia bid

LONDON - Billionaire retail entrepreneur Philip Green is reinforcing his bid for Top Shop owner Arcadia with the help of City PR expert Finsbury.

Green -- the man behind the reinvigoration of British Home Stores over the past year -- this week enlisted the consultancy on a "watching brief" to help gauge City opinion on his £690m cash offer for Arcadia, which has been rejected by the group's shareholders.

The move marks a rare external PR appointment for Green, who is renowned for his own proactive relationship with the media. Finsbury was drafted in this week to assist Green and provide advice when required.

The brief is led by Finsbury partner Rupert Younger and consultant Abigail Wyatt, who report to Green.

Younger said: "Our remit is a watching brief that is to help monitor City opinion and help with the volume of calls that the UK media are involving him in. We are also appointed to give him some additional advice on some of the strategic messaging."

The agency will report on press and analyst reactions to Green's offer, which Arcadia this week rejected for undervaluing the company.

Meanwhile, Arcadia's retained financial agency Tulchan Communications has been briefed to assist on the other side of the fence.

Tulchan founder Andrew Grant said the agency is working with Arcadia CEO Stuart Rose, providing advice on media strategy and dealing with the financial press. Arcardia's main objective is to up Green's offer.

The bid is the second unfavourable offer Arcadia has been forced to fend off in the past year. Tulchan also helped defend the group from a hostile bid lodged by Icelandic group Baugur, which has a 20 per cent stake in Arcadia and had hoped to buy a controlling stake in the firm.

Gavin Anderson advised Baugur on PR surrounding the bid last October.

It is believed Green would consider selling off Arcadia's Top Shop, Top Man and Miss Selfridge brands to Baugur if he succeeds in acquiring the business.

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