Finance

Desperate Debenhams to plead to its lenders for a £50m lifeline as it heads toward Christmas


Desperate Debenhams to plead to its lenders for a £50m lifeline as it heads toward Christmas

Struggling Debenhams will plead with its lenders for another financial lifeline as it heads toward the Christmas period.

The department store group is expected to request a £50million loan, sources said, just months after it crashed into administration and fell into the hands of its lenders.

It comes at a difficult time for Debenhams as it prepares to close around 50 of its 166 stores – a move that could lead to up to 4,000 jobs losses.

The department store group is expected to request a £50m loan, sources said, just months after it crashed into administration and fell into the hands of its lenders

The department store group is expected to request a £50m loan, sources said, just months after it crashed into administration and fell into the hands of its lenders

The additional borrowing will add to a £200million loan secured by Debenhams in March after the business went bust and was rescued, wiping out shareholders’ entire investment.

Its largest investor at the time, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley, is thought to have lost as much as £150million from the department store’s collapse. 

The 54-year-old is now preparing to challenge the insolvency procedure launched by Debenhams – called a Company Voluntary Arrangement, or CVA – which also allowed it to get rent cuts on stores.

Debenhams is currently in the process of replacing former chief executive Sergio Bucher, who stepped down in April.

Bucher left the business months after he was booted off Debenhams’ board in an audacious coup orchestrated by Ashley, which also led to the departure of former chairman Sir Ian Cheshire.

Ex-Superdry boss Euan Sutherland, 42, who was ousted by 54-year-old co-founder Julian Dunkerton earlier this year, is thought to be among the frontrunners for the top job at Debenhams.

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