Debenhams to appoint administrators to protect business during covid-19 crisis
Debenhams has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators as it looks to protect itself from the threat of legal action from creditors while its stores are closed during the coronavirus outbreak.
The company said it is preparing to enter a “light touch” administration that will involve its current management team remaining in place under the direct control and supervision of the administrators.
Debenhams has appointed Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory to provide advice with regard to the possible administration.
Stefaan Vansteenkiste, chief executive of Debenhams, said the move had been made due to unprecedented circumstances.
He added: “We have taken this step to 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 are working with a group of highly supportive owners and lenders and anticipate that additional funding will be made available to bridge us through the current crisis period.
“With their support and working with other key stakeholders, including landlords, pension trustees and business partners, we are striving to protect jobs and reopen as many Debenhams stores for trading as we can, as soon as this is possible.”
Debenhams is continuing to trade online within the UK, Ireland and Denmark while the covid-19 lockdown continues. However, most of its UK employees are being paid under the government’s furlough scheme due to the clsoure of all of its stores.
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