Debenhams could be sold as part of administration exit strategy

Debenhams could reportedly be put up for sale as it looks to exit its ‘light touch’ administration.

The British retailer has appointed investment bank Lazard to oversee the process and hopes to find a buyer before September, The Guardian reports. Possible outcomes include its owners retaining the business, new joint-venture arrangements with existing and potential new investors, or a sale to a third party.

The 242-year-old company entered into a ‘light touch’ administration in April, handled by restructuring firm FRP Advisory. It was the second time the company had fallen into administration in as many years.

Debenhams up for sale

In April 2019, its fall into administration saw the company delisted and its shareholders wiped out. It was then acquired by a consortium of financial investors including Silver Point Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management.

Since April this year, the department store chain has managed to reopen 124 of its 142 stores following negotiations with landlords.

“Now that Debenhams has 124 stores in the UK open and is trading ahead of expectations, the administrators of Debenhams Retail Ltd have initiated a process to assess ways for the business to exit its protective administration,” the company said in a statement published by The Guardian.

“There are a range of possible outcomes which could include the current owners retaining the business, potential new joint venture arrangements (with existing and potential new investors) or a sale to a third party, and the administrators will be guided by what delivers the best outcome for creditors.”

Photo credit: Debenhams

 

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