Mar 18, 2019

Sports Direct lays out plan for struggling Debenhams

Sports Direct has admitted for the first time that it would seek to acquire Debenhams if the department store chain fell into administration, although it still hoped to avoid that outcome. Last week, Sports Direct put forward its own refinancing proposal, offering to lend Debenhams £150m interest-free and with no security if the department store chain agreed to appoint Mr Ashley as chief executive. Mr Wootton suggested that if Debenhams accepted Sports Direct's latest offer of financial assistance, a previous demand to clear out all bar one of the company's directors could be softened. Sports Direct signed a non-disclosure agreement with Debenhams in early February, making it party to inside information and limiting its ability to acquire bonds or more shares. In January, Sports Direct and another shareholder voted Debenhams then-chairman Ian Cheshire and chief executive Sergio Bucher off the board.

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