Debenhams draws up contingency plans for liquidation

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Debenhams’s owners have begun drawing up plans for the liquidation of the 242-year-old department store chain in a move that could trigger the single-biggest jobs cull of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News has learnt that Debenhams has appointed Hilco Capital, which specialises in helping to wind down distressed retail businesses, to work with it in the event that a sale process for one of Britain’s best-known retailers ends in failure.

In a statement, a spokesman for the department store chain said: “Debenhams is trading strongly, with 124 stores reopened and a healthy cash position.

“As a result, and as previously stated, the administrators of Debenhams Retail Ltd have initiated a process to assess ways for the business to exit its protective administration.

“The administrators have appointed advisors to help them assess the full range of possible outcomes which include the current owners retaining the business, potential new joint venture arrangements (with existing and potential new investors) or a sale to a third party.”

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