Sep 2, 2019

Sports Direct aims to put Debenhams ‘out of business’

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is funding a legal challenge against Debenhams to drive it out of business and "Pick up its assets on the cheap", it was claimed in the High Court on Monday. Sports Direct, founded by billionaire Mr Ashley, is financing a High Court lawsuit brought by six landlords that are challenging restructuring proposals which the UK retailer's creditors overwhelmingly approved in May after Debenhams was bought out of administration by its lenders. The retailer alleged in its written arguments to the trial that Sports Direct was funding the legal costs of the lawsuit because it wanted to "Drive Debenhams into administration so that it can pick up its assets on the cheap". Tom Smith QC, representing Debenhams, claimed in the written submissions that Sports Direct, which owns rival department store chain House of Fraser, "Wants to drive its principal competitor out of business". Sports Direct is not a landlord of Debenhams and is not party to the litigation but is funding the landlords' legal costs.

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