NEXT has withdrawn from negotiations to buy Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire.

Arcadia, which employed around 13,000 people and has 444 UK stores, went into administration at the start of December.

Arcadia’s stores include Burton and Dorothy Perkins in Eastleigh, Topman and Topshop in Fareham and Wallis in Romsey.Next had been touted as the most likely buyer.

But the high street stalwart, which was bidding for the group in partnership with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner, said it was “unable to meet the price expectations of the vendor”.

Next could be among bidders after Arcadia went into administration

It is understood that final bids set by administrator Deloitte were due on Monday, although there could be some flexibility.

Retailers including Boohoo, Frasers Group, and JD Sports in partnership with US retail giant Authentic Brands, have also been considering acquiring some or all of Arcadia’s stores.

Deloitte is expected to receive bids worth more than £200million, and Chinese online retailer Shein has tabled an offer for Topshop and Topman worth over £300m, according to Sky News.

Last month, administrators agreed the sale of Arcadia’s plus-sized brand Evans to Australian firm City Chic Collective in a £23m deal.