BREAKING: British department store giant Debenhams goes into administration

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ADMINISTRATION: Debenhams' flagship store on Oxford Street and (inset) the statement on their website today. File image. Photo credit: Wikimedia / Philafrenzy


THE department store giant Debenhams has gone into administration and has been taken over by its lenders.

Stores will continue to trade for now and the move will allow the business to access new funds to keep it afloat after a recent £200m offer by Sports Direct was rejected.

In a statement on their website the retail giant said: “On 9 April 2019, Debenhams plc (‘the Company’) entered Administration, and Chad Griffin, Simon Kirkhope and Andrew Johnson of FTI Consulting LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators (‘the Joint Administrators’). The appointment was made by the Company’s qualifying floating charge holder under the provisions of Paragraph 14(1) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986.

“For the avoidance of doubt only the Company (which was the Group’s top holding company) is in administration – the Group’s operating companies, including Debenhams Retail Ltd and Magasin Du Nord, continue to trade as normal. The Group’s commercial relationships with suppliers, employees, pension and customers are all with the operating companies. Therefore the Group’s commercial stakeholders are not adversely impacted by the Company’s administration.

“Immediately following their appointment, the Joint Administrators sold the Company’s shares in the Group, to Celine Newco I Limited, an entity owned by certain of the Company’s secured lenders (“the Transaction”).

“The Transaction delivers continuity for all Group operations. It minimises business disruption, ensures continuity for the businesses and their suppliers and protects the Group’s employees. It also allows additional funding of up to £99m to be provided.

“The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Joint Administrators, Chad Griffin, Simon Kirkhope and Andrew Johnson, who act as agents of the Company only and without personal liability.”

The British multinational retailer operating under a department store format in the United Kingdom and Ireland with franchise stores in other countries.

The company was founded in the eighteenth century as a single store in London and, in 2015, had 178 locations across the UK, Ireland and Denmark.

It sells a range of clothing, household items and furniture and has been known since 1993 for its ‘Designers at Debenhams’ brand range.

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