Sir Philip Green has cast doubt over evidence given by the Pensions Regulator in relation to the collapse of retailer BHS.
The billionaire has dispatched a letter through his company Arcadia to a joint committee of MPs investigating the department store’s demise.
The document describes evidence given on Monday by Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, as “incorrect”.
Referring to Ms Titcomb’s claim that she only became aware of the sale of BHS from newspapers after it happened, the letter claims that Arcadia informed the regulator in February 2015, a month before its sale.
The letter reads: “The evidence of Ms Titcomb has been widely reported in the press, but it is incorrect.
“On 6 February 2015, the Pensions Regulator was notified by email (copied to the trustees of the BHS pension schemes) that a decision had been taken to market the BHS business with a view to obtaining a solvent disposal.”
The document also mounts a defence of dividend payments, amounting to £423 million, paid to Sir Philip and his family.
It says that the money was paid out from 2002 to 2004, when BHS was making “significant profits”.
Sir Philip will be probed by MPs from the business and work and pensions select committees on June 15 over the dividend payment, his management of the pension scheme and the decision to sell the business for £1 to a consortium led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.
BHS collapsed in April, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and leaving a £571 million pension fund black hole.
The letter claims the regulator “was informed of the key terms of the proposed sale of BHS ... the position of the BHS pension schemes and the plan for the business”.