We are pleased to have signed an agreement with boohoo group plc that secures the future of the Debenhams UK brand.
Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey from FRP’s Restructuring Advisory team, who are the Joint Administrators to Debenhams, have concluded a thorough and robust process to achieve the best outcome for the business’ stakeholders. The Joint Administrators were appointed to Debenhams Retail Limited in a ‘light touch administration’ that enabled the incumbent management team to remain in place to operate the business, under the direct control and supervision of the administrators.
The £55 million cash deal will see boohoo group plc acquire the global rights to Debenhams brands and its websites. The transfer will take full effect following the completion of the current stock liquidation programme, which is continuing online.
It will allow a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge under strong new ownership, including an online operation and the opportunity to secure an international franchise network that will operate under licence using the Debenhams name. The transaction does not affect Magasin du Nord in Denmark, which continues to operate independently.
Once Debenhams stores are able to reopen and the stock liquidation can continue in stores, the website will be operated by boohoo. The closing down sale will continue in stores for several weeks until the stock liquidation is completed and the value of this stock will be retained for creditors. Regrettably, all the UK stores will then be permanently closed.
Geoff Rowley, Joint Administrator and Partner at FRP, said: “We are pleased to have secured the future for this great brand, and to have created the opportunity for a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge in a different shape beyond the pandemic. I expect that the agreement with boohoo may provide some job opportunities but we regret that this outcome does not safeguard the jobs of Debenhams’ employees beyond the winding down period. We are very grateful that they have worked tirelessly through this very challenging period and will continue to support the closing down sale. I’d also like to thank the management team, who have worked very hard throughout to protect the business and support us in delivering the best outcome for stakeholders.”