Debenhams on target to receive £200m restructuring loan in blow to Mike Ashley bid


Debenhams moved one step closer to carrying out its major restructuring plan this morning after revealing that it has secured the support of bondholders.

In what could be a major blow for retail tycoon Mike Ashley, who is currently mulling his own bid to buy the company and prevent his 30 per cent stake from being wiped out, Debenhams said today that a majority of holders “have provided consent to the amendments sought to the existing notes”.

The deadline for bondholders to accept the offer is 5pm.

The news comes a day after Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley said he was considering a £61.4m bid to take full control of the troubled business.

Mike Ashley

The potential all-cash offer of 5p per share is Ashley’s latest attempt to snap up the firm and prevent his stake from being destroyed by the £200m rescue deal currently being pursued by the company and its lenders.

Through options such as a pre-pack administration or a debt-for-equity swap, Debenhams is seeking to agree a major refinancing deal to pay down its debt with creditors.

Alternative offers from Ashley, including a £150m loan as well as a £100m offer for the company’s Danish arm, have so far been rejected by the Debenhams board, which has flagged concerns over whether the House of Fraser owner should run its biggest rival.