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Sports Direct seeks support for Debenhams legal challenge

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International is attempting a legal challenge to Debenhams’ restructuring proposal, which was approved by creditors earlier this month. 

The company voluntary arrangement (CVA) received a majority “significantly above” the required threshold of 75% on each proposal, paving the way for 22 store closures by January 2020.

It followed the pre-pack administration of Debenhams, which placed it into the hands of lenders, and wiped out shareholders’ stakes, including Sports Direct’s near 30% stake.

Sports Direct is now in conversations with landlords and other third parties concerning legal action against the CVA. 

On Sunday, the group published a review of Debenham’s CVA process, which raised concerns with the sale process run by Debenhams’ new owners, claiming it was run on an “incredibly short and unrealistic timescale” and failed to secure any acceptable bids.

Sports Direct also criticised the department store chain’s plans to exit its Sherburn distribution centre, which means that the department stores chain’s remaining stores and online operation would be serviced from one distribution centre. 

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