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Debenhams on the brink of administration

PUBLISHED: 10:02 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 09 April 2019

Debenhams is on the brink of administration. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY

Debenhams is on the brink of administration. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

Debenhams has refused a lifeline from Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, which would have saved the chain from a now likely administration.

Mr Ashley made an offer of £200m, which was rejected by the board.

Debenhams has a number of stores in Norfolk, including in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.

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Under the latest proposal, Debenhams lenders’ would have had to agree to write off £82m of its £720m debt mountain, as well as install the tycoon as chief executive.

Lenders to Debenhams said the latest proposal, on the terms set out, was “not sufficient”.

Debenhams said in a statement: “The board confirms that it received a revised, highly-conditional, proposal from Sports Direct in the early hours of 9 April, which indicated a willingness of Sports Direct to underwrite an equity issue of £200 million.

“The company’s lenders have confirmed to the company that the proposal, on the terms set out, was not sufficient to justify an extension to the 8 April deadline.

“The company anticipates making a further announcement during the course of the day following further discussions with its lenders.”

Debenhams is now widely expected to fall into administration and the retailer’s lenders seize control of the company in a move tipped to trigger store closures and job losses.

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