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Department Stores

Debenhams to ‘close 20 stores’ in CVA plan

Debenhams could reveal plans to close 20 stores as this week, the embattled department store chain will announce it has secured a cash injection from its lenders.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Debenhams wants to reduce its store portfolio to 90 outlets over the next five years, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.

In recent weeks, the department store has been in discussions with hedge funds to finance the company for the next 12 months. It is said to be exploring the option of a CVA in a bid to reduce its property costs, and a debt for equity swap deal is under consideration.

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley, who owns a 30% stake in Debenhams, is also said to be in talks with its interim chairman Terry Duddy regarding refinancing. Ashley ousted the previous chairman Sir Ian Cheshire in January, after the company posted poor Christmas trading results.

Debenhams has declined to comment.

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