Debenhams appoints administrators
Debenhams has appointed administrators in order to protect its UK business from the threat of legal action that could have pushed it into liquidation.
The department store chain’s 142 UK shops are currently closed in line with the UK government’s guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory have been appointed as administrators. They will be adopting a “light touch” administration as they work with Debenhams’ management team to get to a position where they can re-open as many stores as possible once the covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Due to challenges facing Debenhams in Ireland, the UK administrators are expected to appoint a liquidator to the business. Debenhams has already suspended trading in its 11 Republic of Ireland stores, the majority of which are now not expected to reopen. However, customers in the country will still be able to shop with Debenhams on its Irish website.
Stefaan Vansteenkiste, chief executive of Debenhams, said: “In these unprecedented circumstances the appointment of the administrators will protect our business, our employees, and other important stakeholders, so that we are in a position to resume trading from our stores when Government restrictions are lifted.
“We anticipate that our highly supportive owners and lenders will make additional funding available to fund the administration period. We are desperately sorry not to be able to keep the Irish business operating but are faced with no alternative option in the current environment.”