Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


JD Sports in rescue talks to buy Debenhams saving 12,000 jobs


Debenhams is in exclusive talks with JD Sports about a rescue takeover of the department stores chain that could secure the futures of thousands of retail workers before Christmas.

It is understood that JD Sports, the FTSE 100 sportswear business, is interested in acquiring the whole of Debenhams and yesterday it entered exclusive talks with Lazard, its adviser, and administrators at FRP.

Debenhams has 12,000 staff and 124 shops. The company fell into administration in April, for the second time in two years.

A deal with JD Sports would come as a relief to many within the retail sector, who had believed that Debenhams was destined for the scrapheap as the pandemic exacerbated the woes of the high street. However, sources warned that talks could still falter.

Mark Gifford, chairman of Debenhams, has spent this year renegotiating leases with landlords in an effort to make the business more sustainable. The pandemic, which has caused a collapse in shopper numbers and led to store closures, has helped Debenhams to press its case with property owners, as many retailers have struck similar deals. It is also thought that a restructuring plan, shown to prospective buyers, proposed shrinking the business from 124 stores to 60.

JD Sports, which is run by Peter Cowgill, is thought to be attracted to Debenhams because of its website, which remains one of the most popular shopping sites. It is thought JD Sports has no interest in putting its brands in Debenhams stores, but the company, which is worth nearly £8 billion, is attracted by the opportunity of snapping up cheap space on the high street.

Debenhams and JD Sports declined to comment.

A deal with JD Sports would infuriate Mike Ashley, the majority owner of Frasers Group, who has been trying to seize control of Debenhams for three years. The Sports Direct tycoon had a stake worth £150 million in Debenhams, which was wiped out in a debt-for-equity swap in which hedge funds including Silver Point Capital took control of the business. Since then, he has unsuccessfully called for the government to scrutinise the administration process.

Frasers Group was knocked out of this Debenhams sale process at the start of the month after failing to meet the £300 million price tag Debenhams’ advisers were asking for. It is thought that it offered only £125 million for the group after failing to be given sufficient data on how stores were performing. Debenhams advisers have said that it would be anti-competitive to give commercial details to Mr Ashley as he is the owner of House of Fraser, a rival department stores chain.

JD Sports has a track record of buying struggling smaller rival businesses, including Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green brand and Footasylum. However, industry experts have been surprised by JD Sports’ interest in Debenhams, which has toiled for years as consumers have shifted online.

One industry source said that Mr Cowgill, 67, was a “shrewd retailer”, although another feared that it would distract JD Sports from a successful strategy that has been focused on sports fashion. Its recent $558 million acquisition of Finish Line in America helped to bolster its relationships with Nike and Adidas, the sports brands.

Sources said that a deal with Debenhams could still fall apart. The alternative would be liquidation, with Hilco remaining on standby. Reliance Retail, controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, withdrew from the bidding process last month, while other rival British retailers, including Next, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, had expressed an interest in a handful of unwanted stores.

Last night shares in JD Sports were down 11p, or 1.3 per cent, at 812¾p.

Read more:
JD Sports in rescue talks to buy Debenhams saving 12,000 jobs

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



PayMaya, the country’s largest processor of merchant payments, has relaunched its enterprise brand as Maya Business. The new Maya Business seamlessly integrates omnichannel payment...


SM Investments Corp. sees a brighter consumer outlook, fueled by sustained confidence in retailing Increased shopping activity, which was unleashed by the loosening of...


By Chelsey Keith P. Ignacio Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI) registered an increase in its revenues as well as housing and condominium sales in the...


A master-planned community anchored on wellness, sustainability, and business growth awaits those wanting to enjoy the ‘island life’ in Megaworld’s Paragua Coastown By Jules...


By Chelsey Keith P. Ignacio Education can open the doors to abundant opportunities, from achieving one’s dream, helping the family, or even contributing to...


Sustainability has transcended trends and has become somewhat of an art form in itself. In business, it has now been refined to qualify as...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...


Instagram still holds the top spot for social media in terms of building brand reputation and expanding business potential. Every day, more and more...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.