Debenhams to close 50 stores and cut 1000s of jobs after High Court win

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The video will start in 8 Cancel Major British department store chain Debenhams has been given the green light to shut down 50 stores The retailer has won a High Court battle with landlords to push through its plans to close stores and slash rents Debenhams had collapsed into administration earlier this year before being rescued by its lenders It then announced it was launching a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) – an insolvency procedure that allows retailers to push through dramatic cuts in a desperate bid to stay afloat The department store chain’s CVA, which involved shutting 50 stores and slashing rents by up to 50%, was soon approved by the majority of its creditors But a landlord which owns six of Debenhams’ stores then took the retailer to court, arguing the CVA was not run properly and should be overturned Today the High Court dismissed the challenge as Debenhams won the case, allowing it to push forward with its CVA Debenhams chief executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste welcomed the judgement and said: “We are delighted that the court has today confirmed that our CVA is effective and will continue to be implemented as planned ” The retailer previously said it plans to close 22 stores after Christmas, and the remaining outlets – around 30 – within the next three years It also plans to downsize another 30 stores and seek rent reductions on more than 100 stores In April it released a list of the planned 22 closures, which are set to put around 1,200 jobs at risk They include: When Debenhams initially collapsed into administration, all its shares were wiped out meaning Sports Direct, owned by retail mogul and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, lost its 29% stake Sports Direct had backed the landlords’ High Court challenge to stop Debenhams CVA, amid long-running claims Ashley wanted to take over full control of Debenhams

 

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