Monday 23 January 2017

Debenhams secures new leases in survival battle

Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30

Debenhams in Henry Street, Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Debenhams in Henry Street, Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited (DRIL) has moved one step closer to survival after securing reduced rent deals on six of its stores.

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Last May, DRIL applied for court protection for 11 of its stores after Debenhams Plc - its UK parent to whom it owes €46m and which guaranteed all of its subsidiary's Irish leases - withdrew financial support.

As part of its survival scheme, DRIL sought to repudiate six key leases.

But it faced strong opposition to a repudiation on its Tallaght store lease by a Nama-supported landlord which had claimed in court proceedings that Debenhams Plc had "contrived" to place DRIL into examinership.

Last week Laseda, the Nama-supported landlord of DRIL's Tallaght outlet, withdrew its claims and its application against Debenhams plc for a declaration as to its (the UK parent's) obligations under its guarantee after a new lease deal was agreed.

It is also understood that that DRIL has reached agreement on its remaining leases whose repudiation was strenuosly opposed.

Last week the High Court extended, until August 19, the time for examiner Kieran Wallace to conclude his report on a survival scheme.

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