deficit if he makes a "voluntary" financial contribution to the retirement
The tycoon promised to 'sort' the deficit as he appea
Sir Philip Green is seeking assurances that regulators will abandon a probe into BHS's vast pension deficit if he makes a "voluntary" financial contribution to the retirement pots of thousands of the collapsed chain's former employees.
The subject has arisen during discussions between the two sides, sources indicated this weekend.
Opinions differ about whether the watchdog would be willing or able to offer such a guarantee to Sir Philip, with sources close to it suggesting that every case "would be evaluated on its merits".
The regulator can also seek information from or pursue anyone who they believe to be a connected party - which in BHS's case could lead it to Lady Green, the ultimate owner of Taveta, which owns Arcadia Group.
One ally of the Topshop billionaire said: "This would be a voluntary contribution, and it would be unrealistic to expect it to be made unless the anti-avoidance probe was discontinued."
The precise sum that Sir Philip will have to contribute remains subject to weeks or even months of further negotiations, although experts say that it will be at least £300m based on talks so far.
Video: Sky News Tries To Talk To Sir Philip Green
The tycoon promised to "sort" the deficit when he appeared before MPs in June, although he has since been criticised by parliamentarians over the lack of visible progress.
Lesley Titcomb, the Pensions Regulator's chief executive, said in May that the anti-avoidance inquiry had been launched shortly after Sir Philip sold BHS for £1 to a consortium led by Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt.
Approximately 11,000 people have seen their jobs disappear as a result of the collapse, with Sir Philip shouldering much of the blame in a critical report published by MPs last month.
The most recent valuation of BHS's pension schemes put the deficit at £571m on a buyout basis, but that figure has since risen by an undisclosed amount because of shrinking returns from government bonds as interest rates fall to new lows.