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Debenhams shares fall as HSBC offloads stake

Shares in Debenhams have fallen after HSBC announced the sale of a 13% stake in the retailer on behalf of an undisclosed client, reported to be the collapsed Icelandic investment fund Baugur.

HSBC is placing up to 115.8 million Debenhams shares at 40p to 45p each, according to reports.

Debenhams shares fell 6.75p, or 13%, to 47.25p this morning, the steepest drop since November 19.

Baugur owns 6.5% of Debenhams directly and a further 6.7% through the Unity Investments vehicle, in which it has a 42.5% stake.

Baugur, which owns stakes in a raft of retailers including House of Fraser, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system and tough trading on the UK high street.

Debenhams has been the subject of intense speculation about its ability to repay its debt mountain.

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