Debenhams hires liquidator in contingency plan

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Debenhams commissioned a cabinet to draw up contingency plans for a possible liquidation of the department store.

The company, which is in administration, hired Hilco Capital, a firm that specializes in liquidating distressed retailers.

Debenhams said he was “negotiating hard” and that Hilco’s appointment did not mean a liquidation was likely.

Last week Debenhams said it would cut 2,500 more jobs, in addition to the 4,000 cuts announced in May.

Debenhams filed for administration in April – the second time in just over a year – and is looking at options out of the process.

These include current owners who continue to run the business, a sale of Debenhams or a joint venture with new or existing investors.

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But if the directors, FRP Advisory, fail to find a buyer or a new investment, Debenhams risks liquidation – putting 14,000 jobs at risk.

A spokesperson for the department store said: “Debenhams is trading strongly, with 124 stores reopened and healthy cash flow. ”

Debenhams began reopening its stores in June after being closed since the lockdown in late March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Since the lockdown began, he has announced store closings and job cuts.

However, the company was struggling before the pandemic, including issuing a series of profit warnings.

Prior to last year’s administration, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley had offered to inject £ 200million into Debenhams.

The offer from Mr Ashley, who also owns House of Fraser, was rejected and Debenhams entered a pre-pack administration which allowed him to continue negotiating.

Hilco has worked on a number of high profile retail liquidations including BHS, electronics specialist Maplin and Woolworths.

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