Billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green is on the verge of selling a chunk of his fashion brand Topshop to US investors.
The tycoon is in talks to offload a stake of up to 25% of Topman and Topshop in a deal which values the two chains at close to £1 billion, according to sources.
Topshop owners Arcadia is one of Britain's biggest private sector employers
The buyer is understood to be one of the joint owners of American clothing business J Crew.
Sir Philip, whose family ranked 17th on the 2012 Sunday Times UK rich list with an estimated fortune of £3.3 billion, took over the Arcadia Group in 2002.
As well as the Topshop and Topman brands, Arcadia also a number of other big high street names including BHS, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge. It is understood Arcadia's other brands will not be included in the deal.
The sale is yet to be finalised, but it is understood it could be announced in the next 24 to 48 hours.
J Crew is owned by Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) and TPG Capital, two big American private equity firms which between them have backed companies such as Debenhams, the department store chain.
Arcadia employs 43,000 people and is one of Britain's biggest private sector employers.
Topshop started as Peter Robinson's Topshop in Sheffield in 1964, becoming a stand-alone shop in the 1970s.
Sir Philip declined to comment.
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