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Debenhams seeks £50m additional funding

Lauretta Roberts
18 July 2019

Department store Debenhams is seeking additional funding from its lenders just three months after it was bought out of administration.

According to Sky News the retailer has told its lending syndicate, which acquired the business out of administration, that it will need access to the additional funding facilities by the autumn. 

Sources told the news service that the lenders remained supportive of the business, which is currently trading under a CVA. As part of the CVA process Debenhams is planning to close 50 of its 166 stores.

Should it be made available the £50m funding would be in addition to a £200m facility agreed in March, not all of which has been drawn down, it is understood.

Debenhams' lenders, which operate under a conglomerate known as Celine, include hedge funds Goldentree Asset Management and Silver Point, along with Bank of Ireland and HSBC.

The group acquired Debenhams after the administrator concluded there had been no other credible bids, despite repeated attempts from Sports Direct's Mike Ashley to take control of the business.

Ashley had held a near-30% stake in the chain and made repeated refinancing proposals to its board but was repeatedly rebuffed. He also made a bid to have himself installed as the company's CEO.

Debenhams is still on the hunt for a CEO (executive chairman Terry Duddy is currently at the helm of the business) after former CEO Sergio Bucher stood down following the administration.

Ashley also acquired troubled department store House of Fraser last summer but earlier this week the group said it was delaying publishing its year-end results due to difficulties around the integration of the business.

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