NEWS

Debenhams appoints KPMG advisers

Published on: 11th September 2018

The advisers will assess a number of options to improve the fortunes of the department store chain.

Debenhams is in the midst of a turnaround plan designed to cut costs and boost sales. Industry insiders say the firm and KPMG are looking at a number of potential options, including a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), but it is just one possible measure under consideration.

Debenhams has acknowledged High Street market conditions are “challenging” .

“Like all companies, Debenhams frequently works with different advisers on various projects in the normal course of business,” the department store said in a statement.

It has issued three profit warnings this year, and has lost two-thirds of its share price value since January.

As part of its cost cutting, Debenhams said in August that 80 to 90 jobs at its headquarters would be shed. That followed a February announcement that it was planning to cut 320 store management jobs. The business is also looking at raising cash by selling off its Scandinavian department store chain Magasin du Nord for as much as £200m.

However, given the fact that very few of its 170 stores are actually loss-making, Debenhams will want to look at all its options before making any decisions about reducing the size of its estate.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher, who joined Debenhams in 2016, aims to put more emphasis on food and beauty and improve the firm’s online platform.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, who bought House of Fraser out of administration and who owns just under 30% of Debenhams, is believed to be watching the latest developments closely.

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