Portfolio Penguin will publish a “jaw-dropping” biography of Sir Philip Green in a deal reportedly worth £100,000, however the retail tycoon has said he is considering legal action over the book.
Damaged Goods: The Inside Story of Sir Philip Green, the Collapse of BHS and the Death of the High Street by Sunday Times journalist Oliver Shah (pictured) promises to unveil the “rise and fall of the ‘King of the High Street’”. It is billed as the “definitive biography” of the chairman of the Arcadia Group, aimed at fans of Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury (Little, Brown), the controversial exposé of president Donald Trump.
Porfolio editor Lydia Yadi bought world rights at auction from Toby Mundy Associates last year. It will be published by the business books imprint of Penguin on 28th June.
Shah is the award-winning City editor of the Sunday Times who first broke the BHS Scandal and was paid £100,000 for the book deal, according to the Daily Mail, which also reported that Green is “consulting his lawyers” over the title.
Once the billionaire businessman had Prime Ministers and supermodels on speed dialm but now his reputation is in tatters, the blub reads. Damaged Goods tells Green’s story his journey to the big time, the sale of department store chain BHS and the uncertain future of Arcadia and Topshop.
In March 2015, Green sold BHS for £1 to Retail Acquisitions, owned by Dominic Chappell, who put it into administration little more than a year later, with the loss of 11,000 jobs. By the time it collapsed in April 2016, BHS had debts of £1.3bn, including a pensions deficit of £571m, which put 20,000 pensions at risk.
The situation triggered an investigation by a joint parliamentary select committee. In 2017, after nine months of political and media pressure, Green paid £363m to the Pensions Regulator.
Last year Shah was named business journalist of the year at both the Press Awards and the London Press Club Awards for uncovering the methods Green used to amass his offshore fortune and the "desperation that drove his doomed BHS deal". In Damaged Goods, Shah “builds on his investigation, and unveils the shocking truth behind one of Britain’s biggest scandals”, according to a Portfolio spokesperson.
Yadi said: “Damaged Goods is the extraordinary, jaw-dropping account of Sir Philip Green's life and his relationship with the high street and the Sunday Times.
“It is a meticulously researched and explosive read, detailing Green’s personal and professional life from his early years to bullish takeover deals to opulent, star-studded parties. It’s a sharp commentary of British business, politics and celebrity culture but it is also a story of human interest, one of hubris and greed. It will appeal to fans of Tom Bowers’ biographies and readers of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury.”
A publishing source told the Daily Mail: “Green is consulting lawyers over the book. It will explore Green’s friendship with some fascinating characters and look into his colourful family. There will also be lots of new allegations about his bullying behaviour over the years.”