The bitterest part of the BHS collapse: Philip Green’s third yacht


The collapse of British Home Stores has hammered home the lesson we have all been learning about big business under David Cameron’s Conservative Government.

The lesson is:

Corporate bosses get to take all the cash to tax havens; workers get nothing.

For all the BHS employees who voted Tory: Take a good, hard look at Philip Green’s latest yacht (pictured) – his third.

It cost roughly the same amount of money as is missing from your pension fund.

Green is, as has been well-established, a serial tax-avoider. He took more than £400 million from BHS in the first two years after he bought it.

Now the company, starved of investment, is in receivership.

This Writer understands that Sports Direct would have been interested in taking over, if the company’s pension fund liability was not part of any acquisition deal.

That’s a lucky escape for BHS staff, if true, as Mike Ashley would probably have put them all on zero-hours contracts.

BHS has officially collapsed into administration after failing to agree a last-minute deal to rescue the department store chain.

The demise of the retailer, which employs 11,000 people, is the biggest failure on the high street since that of Woolworths in 2008.

The Pensions Regulator has confirmed that it is investigating BHS, suggesting that the regulator is considering whether to force Sir Philip Green, the former owner of the retailer, to contribute towards the company’s £571m pension deficit.

Source: BHS collapses into administration as rescue deal fails | Business | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


20 thoughts on “The bitterest part of the BHS collapse: Philip Green’s third yacht

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I didn’t mention any amounts he took from the company after the first two years, either.
      Whichever way you look at it, it doesn’t matter how much he put in – he took a lot more out.

      1. hayfords

        The yacht is not linked to BHS. He owns the Top Shop group which is extremely profitable or should I say his wife owns it as a Monaco resident. He commutes weekly from there.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        His wife owns it in her capacity as his offshore tax haven. How do you know that the money didn’t come from BHS? Evidence, please.

      3. hayfords

        Firstly, it is not an offshore tax haven for him. He and his wife are Monaco residents. It is the same as Ford or Kraft being foreign owned. Secondly the money is very unlikely to have come from BHS as it has not been profitable since before he bought it. There would have been no surplus funds for him to have been paid. The closure is a symptom of online retailing. There will be several big casualties over the next couple of years. Austin Reed is one mentioned just today. There is too much retail capacity on the high street.

        An added pressure is high rents, which are often caused by charity shops and their treatment by councils. Charity shops have very low costs with free staff, and special low business rates. In my parts of London there are 15 charity shops in the high street. Landlords are keen to let to charities as they can keep the rents up. This stops smaller shopkeepers from affording to start a business. The trend is for multiple retailers such as Starbucks, Costa, banks, estate agents to take empty shops. The result is that you cannot buy anything in my high street.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        You are mistaken. Philip Green is British. His wife is a Monaco resident. For him, Monaco is indeed an offshore tax haven.
        Your comments about BHS are speculation – and I believe have been proved inaccurate since you made them.

  1. shawn

    Sir Phillip Green is also the ‘expert’ the Conservatives called in to advise the MOD on how to save money. If memory serves me well his main piece of insight (that is as reported in the Daily Mail some years ago) to pay less for light bulbs. As, apparently, the MOD was paying £2 per light bulb on a two year contract, at a time when they around 60 pence on some shops. It did mention that the £2 light bulbs have to be delivered to whatever MOD office, barracks require them. In addition, when a site uses hundreds of light bulbs their life-span and quality must be far better than that required by a householder.
    I also remember that out of a £3 billion potential tax bill (this was his salary for several years work) Mr. Green agreed with the tax office to pay £400 million. The problem for HMRO is that ‘his salary. was paid to his wife whose main residence is in Monaco. I must add that another newspaper gave his (wife’s) salary as £2 billion and that he paid £400 million. The point is that no one knows how much he earns, only that it’s in the billions of pounds

  2. Thomas

    When a company is doing well, I have no problem with the owner spending lots of money, but not when it is failing. The jobs of the workers should be the most important thing.

  3. Matt

    I’m also pretty sure that the staff would take a zero hour contract right now, as opposed to the uncertainty of a company in liquidation. A cheap shot at mike Ashley that has no place in the article. Concentrate on facts and not supposition and that might help get the story across for the people affected

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It wasn’t a cheap shot at all.
      The operative phrase is “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” – while matters look bad at the moment, there is still the prospect of other buyers coming forward. If the buyer is Mike Ashley – and it is a fact that Sports Direct has shown an interest – then he would want BHS employees to conform to his employment practices.
      You yourself suggest that staff would take a zero-hour contract so it is bizarre that you then suggest that I am being unreasonable in saying the same thing.

  4. David

    Green is a shrewd businessman, but only of any real use to himself. His employees are just his pawns. Bit like Mike Ashley, really.

  5. Jim Round

    I am reminded of the collapse of Woolworths, the fact is that they are not that good.
    Yes, I do feel sorry for the staff facing uncertain futures, they won’t get the same amount of publicity as the steel workers.
    If memory serves, Green sold the business to hedge funds or asset strippers.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It was mentioned on the news that BHS isn’t that good any more because it hasn’t had appropriate investment for many years.

      1. Jim Round

        C&A, Freeman Hardy Willis, Lewis’s, Our Price and many more, gone and more or less forgotten.

  6. NMac

    Green is just another Tory crook. His financial dealings need to be fully investigated by the Fraud Squad.

  7. Steve Morley

    Between 2001 and 2015 BHS turned over £11 billion but paid just £78 million in tax. During that time, £807 million was taken from its books and funnelled to other firms owned by ‘Sir’ Philip Green. Around £252 million of that £807 million was ‘management charges’ paid to Green’s company Arcadia Group, in return for accounting and other services. Another £141 million was ‘ground rent’ for the use of stores and offices paid to Green’s company Carmen Properties and a whopping £414 million was paid to ‘Lady’ Tina Green (his wife) by way of dividends. Of that £807 million one can only wonder what off shore funds it now languishes in and what tax was dodged as a direct result of registering BHS to Tina Green, whilst the couple spent the majority of their time flitting around the notorious tax haven of Monaco, entertaining celebrity friends like Kate Moss and Simon Cowell aboard their yachts.

    Today BHS goes into administration leaving a £571m pension deficit that will likely affect the financial security of more than 20,000 people. Meanwhile just last month Philip Green purchased his third luxury Yacht. It has four stories and is the length of a football pitch. He called it Lionheart.

Comments are closed.