Belfast Telegraph

Debenhams urges Ashley to end action

By Alys Key

Debenhams has called for Mike Ashley to drop a challenge to its store closures and rent reductions after property firm M&G withdrew from a similar action.

The high street retailer announced that it had undertaken "constructive discussions" with M&G and that both parties had "resolved their concerns" surrounding a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

They have agreed to withdraw the court action which related to the proposals.

However, a challenge from Mr Ashley's Sports Direct and Combined Property Control (CPC) remains outstanding.

Debenhams chairman Terry Duddy said: "I am pleased that M&G has recognised the necessity for the CVAs and that as a result of the discussions we have had, it has withdrawn its challenge.

"I call on Sports Direct and CPC to do the same. If they do not, we will seek to have it thrown out. In the meantime, we continue to make good progress with the company's restructuring plans."

The proposals involve 50 store closures as well as lower rents on more than 100 outlets.

Belfast Telegraph