Sunday, August 08, 2010

Debenhams Mulls Sale Leaseback of UK Store Portfolio

New Statesman - August 5, 2010

In a bid to generate capital, department store group Debenhams has held discussions about unlocking the value in its property portfolio, in a move to reduce its debt which stood at £927m last year.

Debenhams has been speaking to potential investors over deals for nine of its stores. Reports suggest that the group, which owns 165 stores in the UK and Ireland, is contemplating a sale and lease back deal over a period of 25 years.

In April 2010, Debenhams had stated that its net debt had been brought down by 45 per cent to the tune of £512m. In addition, it signed a £650m credit facility last month towards refinancing its debt.

Debenhams is said to have held discussions with property consultants King Sturge about facilitating the process. No comment has been forthcoming yet from either company.

Reports also suggest that the group could direct the capital from the property deals into further investments in business, such as its recent acquisition of footwear chain Faith. Sphere: Related Content

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