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JD Sports enters Debenhams takeover talks

JD Sports has reportedly entered into talks with advisors regarding a deal which would see the sportswear company take full control of Debenhams.

According to the Telegraph, the retailer is interested in purchasing the entire department store shop estate, but is not looking to convert the outlets into JD Sport branches. 

Insiders told the outlet that a deal is not yet guaranteed, but it is thought that if an agreement cannot be reached, specialist restructuring firm Hilco will be appointed to sell off stock and wind down the business. 

It is the latest in a series of events which see the fitness retailer edge closer to full acquisition of the collapsed outlet. 

The business first entered the race to acquire the store earlier this month, according to The Telegraph, when reports surfaced that it had been granted access to the Debenham’s finances in a secure data room.

One source close to its finances, cited by the paper, said that Debenhams has managed to retain “some valuable assets” including its online business and a number of its concessions, however.

Debenhams, which currently employs 12,000 people across 124 stores, fell into administration for a second time this year in April

Since its administration, many high profile names in the retail sector have expressed interest in purchasing the store. 

This included Frasers Group owner Mike Ashely, who has since pulled out of the race after he was reportedly “frozen out” of a bid for the business, having not been given sufficient data on the company. 

Retail Sector has contacted JD Sports for a comment.

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