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Dominic Joseph Andrew Chappell (born 28 November 1966) is a British businessman and former racing driver,[1] who has been declared bankrupt on three occasions.[2] In 2015, his company, Retail Acquisitions Ltd, purchased the now collapsed retail chain British Home Stores from Philip Green for just £1 GBP together with a £10,000,000 equity injection into BHS Group Ltd. 13 months later the company was placed into administration resulting in the closure of 164 stores and the loss of 11,000 jobs.[3]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Chappell was born in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey in 1966. He was educated at Millfield School in Somerset.[4]

Chappell competed from 1986 to 1999 including British Formula Ford 2000, and British F3 in 1990, finishing runner up in the Class B Championship and British Formula 3000, Chappell competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in the GT1 class in 1994 (not classified), 1995 (did not finish) and 1996 (did not finish),[1] and entered in the GT2 class in 1997 but failed to qualify.[5]

Chappell launched the Interactive Sportscar Championship in the UK in 2001. The series folded after one race, leaving almost everybody unpaid, despite promises of payment.[6][7]

In August 2016, Chappell was disqualified from holding a driving licence for six months and fined after pleading guilty to driving at over 63 mph in a 40 mph zone in Andover, Hampshire.[8]

Business careerEdit

 
The closing down sale for a British Home Stores branch in London.

Chappell has been a director of various failed companies, and has been made bankrupt twice[2] and entered into an individual voluntary arrangement once.

He was involved in the Island Harbour Marina development on the Isle of Wight.[9]

It was reported in 2015 that Chappell, with the backing of investors, became the 90% owner of Retail Acquisitions, the firm that acquired British Home Stores (BHS) from Sir Philip Green for £1.[10][11][12]

It subsequently transpired that instead of injecting new capital into the cash-strapped company as agreed with Arcadia, Chappell extracted £1,789,250 within three months of acquiring control of BHS.[13]

During the 13-month period he controlled BHS, Chappell by his own admission, extracted a total of £2,627,643 from BHS.[14]

On 26 April 2016, it was reported that when it became likely that BHS would be going into receivership Chappell had moved £1.5 million from the firm to a company owned by a friend who was also a fellow board member of Retail Acquisitions. The sum had been later refunded at the request of BHS' chief executive Darren Topp (less £50,000 bank transaction fees).[15]

Just days after putting BHS into liquidation, and with its £571m pension deficit absorbed by the UK government's Pension Protection Fund, Chappell was said to be considering re-purchasing some parts of the firm.[16] Reporting on this development, the BBC's Business editor Simon Jack noted: "Sources at BHS treated the announcement with bewilderment. Other very senior retail sources used more colourful language. His credibility has taken a very serious knock. The details that have emerged about Dominic Chappell and his fellow directors' extraction of millions in professional fees has attracted widespread criticism".[17]

On 2 September 2016, another Chappell owned company, Swiss Rock plc was put into liquidation. The Statement of Affairs included unpaid VAT debts of £365,000 and outstanding Corporation Tax of £197,306.[18]

Retail Acquisitions Limited, the company used by Chappell to take over BHS in 2015 was wound up by the High Court of Justice on 3 May 2017 on the petition of BHS owed £6.1M in respect of an unpaid loan [19]. Chappell had previously disclosed that Retail Acquisitions Limited had paid £1.5M to settle a mortgage debt secured on his parents’ home.[20]

Chappell was found guilty of three charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents to The Pensions Regulator at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 11 January 2018 and ordered to pay a fine of £50,000 and £37,000 court costs. Chappell said he could not pay because he had “no funds”, and claimed he had extensive outgoings, of almost £9,000 per month made up of: £3,800 a month rent on a Dorset mansion; £2,666 a month leasing a 2017-plate Range Rover; and £2,500 a month school fees for his two children, aged eight and 12, on which he was in arrears. [21]

Chappell is currently appealing the sentence which is due to be heard in September 2018

On 27 March 2018 the UK Insolvency Service announced that intends to ban Chappell, and three other former BHS directors, from serving as company directors for up to 15 years, following its investigation into the collapse of BHS under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. [22]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Dominic Chappell". Driver Database. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Third bankruptcy of BHS buyer revealed". BBC. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  3. ^ "BHS to close with loss of 11,000 jobs and 164 shops after rescue bids fail to find a buyer". The Daily Telegraph. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ Shah, Oliver (29 March 2015). "Revealed: the trail of disasters behind mystery buyer of BHS". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  5. ^ "1997 24 Hours of Le Mans". Results and Competitors. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  6. ^ hsv. "The Amusing Cautionary Tale of the ISC". Oppositelock. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  7. ^ "The Man Who Wants To Buy Back BHS Tried And Failed To Launch A Racing Franchise". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Ex-BHS boss Dominic Chappell loses licence over speeding". BBC News. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Isle of Wight: Assurance over BHS future after high street chain sold to former Island Harbour owner". Isle of Wight County Press. Newport. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  10. ^ Neilan, Catherine (12 March 2015). "Here is everything we know about BHS' new owner Retail Acquisitions, and what it is planning for the department store". City A.M. London. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  11. ^ Butler, Sarah. "BHS sale: the store that failed to battle it out on the high street". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Struggling BHS sold to consortium for £1". ITV News. London. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Work and Pensions Committee BHS inquiry" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Work and Pensions Committee BHS inquiry" (PDF).
  15. ^ Jack, Simon (26 April 2016). "BHS owner tried to move cash out of firm". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  16. ^ Neilan, Catherine (27 April 2016). "Blame game kicks off following BHS failure". City A.M. London. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  17. ^ Jack, Simon (27 April 2016). "Is Dominic Chappell's BHS bid serious?". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  18. ^ Ruddick, Graham (5 September 2016). "HMRC begins legal battle with Dominic Chappell over tax". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Official Public Record". The London Gazette. 23 May 2017.
  20. ^ Ruddick, Graham (29 April 2016). "BHS collapse: more details emerge on Retail Acquisitions' loans". The Guardian.
  21. ^ "Ex-BHS boss Dominic Chappell ordered to pay £87,000 in pensions case". The Guardian. 23 February 2018.
  22. ^ Morrison, Caitlan (23 March 2018). "Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell banned from running companies for 15 years". The Independent.