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Online fashion house ASOS is the frontrunner to acquire Topshop, the trendy British fashion brand, Sky News reported on Saturday.

ASOS is seeking to buy the brand for more than £250 million ($342 million), Sky News reported. The deal could be finalized by the end of the month, but a source told the news site discussions remain “fluid.”

Topshop, part of British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group, collapsed into administration late last year, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. Deloitte was appointed Arcadia’s administrator and said it was seeking buyers for the group’s brands: Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton and Outfit.

Read more: Amazon’s fashion chief told employees that 50 brands have inquired about selling in its new luxury store, as the company tries to shed counterfeit concerns

Arcadia is one of the UK’s biggest corporate casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparel companies worldwide are among the hardest hit by the pandemic due to lockdowns, work-from-home mandates, and the temporary closure of stores and malls.

Arcadia was also struggling before the coronavirus pandemic, failing to invest enough resources in e-commerce and relying too heavily on in-store shopping.

In May 2019, Topshop filed for bankruptcy in the US and shut all of its 11 stores there. The struggling retail group cut around 500 head office roles in July and furloughed its retail staff.

ASOS, an all-online fashion giant, would acquire the Topshop brand but is not holding any talks about buying Topshop stores, Sky reported.

ASOS is competing to buy Topshop against several rivals, including China's Shein fashion group and the American retailer Authentic Brands Group, Sky reported. 

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