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Debenhams wins court battle over CVA

A challenge against Debenhams’ company voluntary arrangement proposal has been rejected in the high court, paving the way for 22 store closures at the retailer. 

A judge rejected the challenge by landlord Combined Property Control Group on four of the five grounds addressed. Debenhams said the remaining ground has been addressed by the deletion of a technical provision of the CVA relating to landlord forfeiture.

Debenhams is expected to close 22 stores by January 2020, while a further 105 stores will get rent reductions and lease negotiations.

Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Debenhams’ CEO, said: “We are delighted that the court has today confirmed that our CVA is effective and will continue to be implemented as planned. We note that the only aspect that the judge required to be adjusted was a technical provision of the CVA relating to landlord forfeiture provisions.

“Our proposals had unprecedented levels of support from our landlords, and today’s outcome is good news for our 25,000 employees, our pensioners and suppliers. We retain the support of our lenders, and everyone at Debenhams can continue to focus on trading ahead of the important Christmas period.”

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