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MPs ask Philip Green to prove BHS was going concern

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By Reuters
MPs ask Philip Green to prove BHS was going concern
FILE PHOTO: Sir Philip Green attends the TopShop Spring/Summer 2018 show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain September 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner   -   Copyright  Mary Turner(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – A British parliamentary committee has asked billionaire Philip Green to “prove” why he thought retailer BHS could stay in business before it was sold in 2015 for a token one pound, before collapsing a year later.

The request from Frank Field, chair of parliament’s work and pensions committee, follows the publication earlier on Wednesday of documents from the Financial Reporting Council detailing why the accounting regulator fined PwC over its audit of BHS, then part of Taveta Group, owned by Green’s family.

PwC had said BHS was a “going concern” despite several signs that the business was struggling, the FRC said.

Field has now written to Green, saying the management of BHS had been responsible for preparing the necessary assessment to support that view, which should then have been tested by the auditor.

“I would therefore like to invite Taveta to publish your going concern assessment to prove that there was indeed a suitable case for presenting BHS as a going concern,” Field said in a letter dated August 15 and made available to the press.

A spokesman for Green was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Kirstin Ridley)