Retail tycoon Philip Green has stepped forward as a possible buyer for troubled high street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S), propelling shares in the company to a 17-month high.

Green, whose empire takes in the Arcadia fashion group and Bhs department stores, said on Thursday he would approach the M&S board within the next few days.

"Any proposal would involve a mixture of cash and shares in a new company which would seek a listing," a statement from Green family subsidiary Revival Acquisitions said.

In an interview with the Daily Express newspaper this week, Green said he had the skills to turn around what he labelled "a great British institution" that had lost its way.

"Their women's wear is poor, they have an old supply chain and their speed of delivery to market is poor," he told the paper's Friday edition.

"We can put this all right."

It is not the first time Green has expressed interested in buying M&S.

In 1999, he appointed financial advisers to consider a bid but withdrew his interest a few months later.

Shares in M&S, the UK's biggest apparel retailer, surged as much as 24 per cent before closing at 360 pence - their highest level since November 2002 - on news of the proposed acquisition.