Administrators of Debenhams considering sale options

Tue, 28 Jul 2020 | BUSINESS SALE

Department store chain Debenhams has been put up for sale after falling into administration for the second time in a year, the retailer has announced.

The well-known brand has revealed that it has appointed investment bank Lazard and law firm Freshfields to help it negotiate the process as it explores its options moving forward.

According to reports, the chain is considering a number of options including a sale to a third party or a joint venture with existing and new investors. Parties interested in investing in the future of the chain include a Chinese consortium and Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and Frasers Group, who previously had his takeover bids rejected.

"Now that Debenhams has 124 stores in the UK open and is trading ahead of expectations, the administrators of Debenhams Retail Ltd have initiated a process to assess ways for the business to exit its protective administration," a statement from the firm revealed.

"There are a range of possible outcomes which could include the current owners retaining the business, potential new joint venture arrangements (with existing and potential new investors) or a sale to a third party, and the administrators will be guided by what delivers the best outcome for creditors."

Debenhams has been forced to close a number of stores after the announcement earlier this year that it had fallen into administration. According to reports, the retailer has been struggling with significant debts totalling around £600 million. However, it has now reopened 124 stores around the UK following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions and has announced that it is "trading ahead of expectations" in the wake of the outbreak.


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