Debenhams given green light for store closures after High Court win
Department store Debenhams has been successful in fighting off a legal challenge to its CVA.
The case was brought by a group of landlords and was backed by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.
In a statement, Debenhams said the challenge was rejected on four of its five grounds.
The news will enable Debenhams to press on with its planned store closure programme as it looks to restructure its business.
Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Debenhams’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the court has today confirmed that our CVA is effective and will continue to be implemented as planned. We note that the only aspect that the judge required to be adjusted was a technical provision of the CVA relating to landlord forfeiture provisions.”
The department store said in October last year that it was looking to reduce its UK store portfolio and have better quality shops. The plans include shuttering around 50 of its 166 UK store stores. Some 22 stores will close by January 2020.
Vansteenkiste said: “Our proposals had unprecedented levels of support from our landlords and today’s outcome is good news for our 25,000 employees, our pensioners and suppliers. We retain the support of our lenders, and everyone at Debenhams can continue to focus on trading ahead of the important Christmas period.”
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