Nov 24, 2020

Debenhams’ survival rests with JD Sports as last remaining bidder

JD Sports has emerged as the last remaining bidder for Debenhams, as the historic department store chain's battle for survival nears its conclusion. Shares in JD Sports fell more than 6 per cent on Tuesday after the news, which was first reported by The Times. Suppliers told the Financial Times that Debenhams had placed few orders for spring and summer stock, suggesting its owners did not expect to be running the company for much longer. Peter Cowgill, the 67-year-old Mancunian who has run JD Sports for more than a decade, has made opportunistic acquisitions before - buying Blacks Leisure and Milletts out of administration for £20m in 2012. Greg Lawless, general retail analyst at Shore Capital, said that "As a best-in-class retailer", JD would be able to operate Debenhams "Much more efficiently and potentially harvest significant margin opportunities".

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