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High Street

Frasers Group mulls Debenhams acquisitions

Frasers Group owner Mike Ashley is reportedly looking to acquire up to 30 Debenhams stores.

According to the Mail, sources claim Ashley has discussed the acquisition proposals with senior members of staff, and a potential statement clarifying the speculation could be released this week.

Ashley has previously attempted to take control of Debenhams and insert himself as a senior board member on two occasions, without success.

Last month it was revealed that a further three Debenhams sites would not reopen, bringing the total number of permantately shuttered stores to 20.

It comes after the Frasers Group warned that a number of its stores could also shutter as a result of the Government’s move to delay the next business rates valuation until 2023.

It said occupiers of the high street, including Frasers Group fascias, are still paying business rates based upon values from 2015, and that the Government has now decided that occupiers should “continue to do so for an extra two years”.

Frasers Group said at the time that it will “again have to carefully review the viability of a number of stores within its portfolio”.

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