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Debenhams owner calls in advisers for its own administration

The holding company of Debenhams, Celine Group Holdings, has appointed advisers to help prepare for its own administration.

Celine confirmed that Philip James Watkins and Philip Lewis Armstrong of FRP Advisory have been appointed as administrators in respect of the company and its immediate parent company, Celine UK Newco 1 Limited on 19 August.

The move means that the company does not have to pay overdue interest payments on £200m of bonds, which were due to be paid on 15 July.

Sources cited by The Telegraph, said that the administration will not have a direct impact on Debenhams staff, customers or suppliers. 

In April, Debenhams entered administration for the second time within a year in order to “protect Debenhams in the UK from the threat of legal action” that could have had the effect of pushing the business into liquidation.

The administrators said they would adopt a “light touch”. 

Debenhams has reportedly drawn up contingency plans in the event of a potential liquidation, as it continues to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is understood that Debenahmans has drafted in Hilco Capital to support the retailer if the sales process for the 242-year-old business does not go through.

In July, Debenhams confirmed that administrators were considering the sale of the chain to a third party, in a bid to lead the business out of its current administration.

According to reports, it appointed investment bank Lazard to oversee the sale process, and “hopes to secure a buyer before the end of September”.

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