Debenhams to restructure Irish business

Department store group Debenhams has today announced that the directors of subsidiary Debenhams Retail (Ireland) have applied to the High Court in Dublin seeking the appointment of an interim examiner.

Under Irish Law the examinership process provides court protection to enable the examiner of Irish companies to put together a scheme of arrangement with creditors, with a view to allowing the company to trade as a sustainable business into the future. It is estimated the process will last up to 100 days.

In a statement, Debenhams said: “Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd has applied for examinership with the objective of restructuring its operations to create a competitive and sustainable business in Ireland.

“The decision to seek examinership follows several years of financial losses at DRIL culminating in a financial loss of €6.7m in the last financial year ended 29 August 2015. This reflects disproportionately high operating costs, such as above-market rents and other overheads.

John Bebbington, director of DRIL, commented: “The directors of Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd will work hard to secure the long term future of the business in Ireland, enabling us to continue to serve our customers well, to provide sustainable jobs for our colleagues and to support the Irish economy. A key element of the examinership would be to protect as many jobs as possible.

“We believe this will be in the best long term interests of all our stakeholders. During the examinership process, it will be business as usual for all of our 11 stores and online trading in the Republic of Ireland.”

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