Iconic retailer Debenhams falls into administration once again

Fri, 10 Apr 2020 | ADMINISTRATION



The long-established British retailer Debenhams has appointed insolvency firm FRP Advisory to oversee an administration process - the second time this has occurred in twelve months.

CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste, a business turnaround specialist drafted in last year, said it was due to "unprecedented" circumstances caused by the UK coronavirus lockdown and was to "protect the business, the employees, and other important stakeholders".

Last year its lenders, including hedge funds Alcentra, Silver Point Capital and Angelo Gordon formed a new company as part of a pre-pack administration, enabling it to delist its shares. This was followed by a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) whereby it shed all old shareholders, lose certain creditors, negotiate new rent contracts, yet keep its pension fund in place. This all followed a pre-tax loss of £491 million in 2018 - the largest loss in the company's history. Following

Debenhams began its life in 1778 when William Clark set up a draper’s store at Wigmore Street in London's West End selling premium bonnets, gloves, fabrics and parasols.

The administration is thought to essentially be a strong-arm strategy to obtain further relief during the lockdown period, with the aim of being able to recommence trading after the lockdown, thereby safeguarding its existence along with up to 22,000 jobs. However, at least 20 stores out of the 120 in the UK may be kept permanently closed. It already closed 22 stores in January 2020. A company spokesperson said the administration process would be 'light touch', with managers continuing to run the business under the supervision of FRP.

The company also announced that its 11 stores in Ireland, currently temporarily closed, would be put into liquidation in a totally separate process. Vansteenkiste said, "We are desperately sorry not to be able to keep the Irish business operating but are faced with no alternative option in the current environment". Whether any stores there would be kept operating is down to the liquidators.


Share this article



Latest Businesses for Sale

Grocer & Florist
Hampshire, UK Wide

The business for sale is a dedicated retailer, providing warm and friendly customer service to ensure a satisfied and ever-increasing customer base. Great reputation with an established customer base. Well-established in the community, this business...

Asking Price: £150,000
Turnover: £400,000

LEASEHOLD


Online Electrical Appliance Sales & Repairs Superstore
West Midlands, UK

Very long established superstore with excellent e-commerce website offering extensive market-leading product range. Operates from spacious and superbly fitted triple parade showroom & workshop premises with huge volume of year-round 'walk in' trade o...

Asking Price: £995,000
Turnover: £330,834

FREEHOLD


Kitchen Interior Company
London, UK

Bespoke kitchen interior company. This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a business that designs and manufactures a wide range of quality kitchens, furniture and other accessories for their loyal client base. Offers invited.

Asking Price: £600,000
Turnover: £750,000

LEASEHOLD



View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News

 
24
 
May
 

Over 50 hotels and travel brands up for sale as leisure company collapses | ADMINISTRATION

The parent company of coach holiday company National Holiday...

 
22
 
May
 

Owner of Joe.co.uk enters administration | ADMINISTRATION

Joe Media Limited, the UK parent company of social news webs...

 
21
 
May
 

South London-based law firm acquired in pre-pack sale | BUSINESS SALE

Croydon-based McMillan Williams Solicitors (MSW) has been so...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

Sign up to receive our acquisition alert emails to get your FREE guide

Email


Related News

 
08
 
Oct
 

Housebuilder turnaround may net owners a fortune | BUSINESS SALE

Derbyshire-based Avant Homes is reportedly being groomed for...

 
14
 
Dec
 

House of Fraser sale on the cards | BUSINESS SALE

The owner of the House of Fraser department store group, Don...

 
29
 
Sep
 

Alexon facing potential pre-pack administration | ADMINISTRATION

Womenswear company Alexon has suspended trading of its share...

Want access to the latest businesses for sale?

Business Sale Report is your complete solution to finding great acquisition opportunities.

Join today to receive:

  • Comprehensive range of businesses for sale
  • Make direct contact with business sellers or their intermediaries
  • Access to all UK administrations, liquidations and winding-up petitions
  • Daily email alerts for the latest businesses for sale & distressed notifications
  • Business Sale Report publication posted to you every month
  • Advertise your acquisition requirements on our "business wanted" section

All this and much more, including the latest M&A news and exclusive resources