Debenhams’ creditors give go ahead for CVA
Written by Hannah McGrath
The new owners of Debenhams have received approval from creditors to trigger a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in order to restructure the retailer and return it to a stable financial footing.
This morning the conglomerate of lenders that took control of Debenhams after it collapsed into administration last month confirmed that it had failed to sell the department store chain.
Celine, the name of bankers and lenders that now owns Debenhams, said that administrators had found that bids for the chain "were not at the level required to be taken forward”.
It came ahead of a meeting of creditors this afternoon, which approved plans for a CVA as part of a £200 million restructuring plan which includes plans to close 22 stores in 2020, putting 1,200 jobs at risk.
Debenhams stressed that under the plans, all 166 current stores will remain open during 2019, including during the Christmas trading period, followed by further closures taking the total to around 50.
The company confirmed that the CVA plan had received the green light from creditors with a majority “significantly above” the required threshold of 75 per cent on each proposal.
The CVA plans, which cover both the retail business and property business, will enable Debenhams to forge ahead with rent and lease renegotiations with landlords and local authorities over business rates.
Terry Duddy, executive chairman of Debenhams, said: “I am grateful to our suppliers, our pension stakeholders and our landlords who have overwhelmingly backed our store restructuring plans.
“We will continue to work to preserve as many stores and jobs as possible through this process. This is a further important step to give us the platform to deliver a turnaround.”