Debenhams prepares for administration
Department store Debenhams has filed a notice to appoint administrators amid the current coronavirus pandemic.
Debenhams has appointed Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory to advise in relation to the possible administration.
The retailer said that by filing a notice to appoint administrators, the company will be protected from the threat of legal action, which could force the firm into liquidation.
Debenhams currently has 142 stores across the UK with the majority of its staff having been furloughed amid the current COVID-19 economic uncertainty.
The retailer is making preparations to resume trading once the lockdown measures imposed on the UK have been lifted, with the Debenham’s bosses ensuring that filing a notice to appoint administrators is a necessary step in that process.
Debenhams said it would carry out a “light touch” administration where the existing management team would remain in place with administrators controlling and supervising the firm’s operations.
The firm said that payments to suppliers who continue to provide goods and services during the administration will be paid to terms and remain unaffected.
Stefaan Vansteenkiste, CEO of Debenhams, commented: “These are unprecedented circumstances and 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.”