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

Plant Hire & Sales
Lincolnshire, UK Wide

Established in 1975, this is the "go to" plant hire business within the Spalding region. They have a vast and ever growing customer base that is well diluted. The premises were purpose built, fully secure with ample room for expansion. The 2nd tier m...

Asking Price: £900,000
Turnover: £662,000

LEASEHOLD


Premium Gardening Supplies Online Retailer
UK Wide

Well-established business operating for over eight years. Specialises in the online sale of both own-brand and leading brands of gardening and horticultural supplies across the UK. Enviable client base comprising a number of long-standing relationshi...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £5,600,000

RELOCATABLE


Online & Retail Florist Business
Oldham, Manchester, North West, UK

Established in 1978. Excellent reputation. High profit margins. Mix of corporate and general public customers. Further growth potential. Seen large growth in online. Offers invited.

Asking Price: £70,000
Turnover: £327,000

LEASEHOLD



View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News

 
14
 
Aug
 

Trafford Centre up for sale after Intu administration | COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Manchester’s Trafford Centre shopping mall is up for s...

 
13
 
Aug
 

Administrators bring three former Shepherd Cox Group hotels to market | DIVISION SALE

Administrators have put three hotels in the North of England...

 
12
 
Aug
 

Baird Group to close stores as CVA is approved | BUSINESS NEWS

Retailer and wholesaler Baird Group, the license holder for ...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

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

Email


Related News

 
12
 
Aug
 

Baird Group to close stores as CVA is approved | BUSINESS NEWS

Retailer and wholesaler Baird Group, the license holder for ...

 
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...

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