By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 01 Dec 2020 • 11:02
Debenhams To Be Wound Down After JD Sports Pull Out Of Last-Minute Rescue Deal.
British multinational retailer Debenhams is to be wound down after JD Sports pulled out of talks on a rescue takeover, its collapse now places 12,000 jobs at risk. The decision was taken after a sale process, initiated by administrators after the ailing 242-year old department store chain’s latest collapse in April, was officially concluded in the wake of JD’s announcement.
A spokesman for Debenhams said the retailer would continue to trade, for the near future, to clear stock as administrators continue to seek a buyer for all or parts of the business.
Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, a joint administrator to Debenhams, says administrators ‘deeply regret’ the decision to start closing the company. Rowley also hasn’t given up hope that a buyer could be found — but says a ‘viable deal’ couldn’t be reached in the current economic climate.
“All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams. However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached. The decision to move forward with a closure programme has been carefully assessed and, while we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action.
“We are very grateful for the efforts of the management team and staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading. We would also like to thank the landlords, suppliers and partners who have continued to work with Debenhams through this turbulent period and can reassure them that all contractual obligations entered into in the administration period will be met in full.”
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