Jul 26, 2020

Debenhams up for sale again as lockdown stymies rescue efforts

The move comes after Debenhams entered a "Light touch" administration in April, which allows the chain's directors to file for administration but run the business as normal rather than giving it over to insolvency practitioners. The pandemic has accelerated a move by consumers to shop more online, leaving department store chains struggling to make up sales. Since the government permitted non-essential retailers to open on June 15, Debenhams has reopened 124 of its stores, which it said were "Trading ahead of expectations" despite figures from the British Retail Consortium showing that high street footfall is still about half of usual levels for this time of year. Several buyers have already expressed an interest in Debenhams although a sale is just one of a number of potential options being explored by the retailer's administrators, FRP Advisory, and its lenders, which include the US-based funds Silver Point Capital, GoldenTree and Alcentra and the UK bank, Barclays. In April, Debenhams was forced to put its 11 stores in Ireland into liquidation as a result of the crisis resulting in about 1,450 job losses.

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