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Mike Ashley swoops on another East Anglian store

PUBLISHED: 09:47 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:26 14 March 2019

High street retailer Debenhams has said it would consider accepting an £150m loan from Sports Direct. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

High street retailer Debenhams has said it would consider accepting an £150m loan from Sports Direct. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

High street retailer Debenhams has said it would consider accepting an £150m loan from Sports Direct, in return for its own Mike Ashley to take over as chief executive of the company.

The department store, which has struggled through the past few years with a series of profit warnings, has said it will take “careful consideration” of the loan propsal.

MORE: ‘Nothing’ to address East Anglia’s ‘high street Armageddon’ in spring Budget

Debenhams announced a string of closures in 2017, though whether any of East Anglia’s stores will be shut has not been confirmed.

The company has outlets in Norwich’s city centre, as well as in King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.

In Suffolk the business has stores in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Colchester in Essex.

The news follows a string of increasing animosity between Sports Direct and Debenhams.

In a letter written just days before Mr Ashley launched an attempted coup to install himself on the Debenhams board, Sports Direct took issue with the retailer’s results statements, accusing the board of giving misleading communications.

Debenhams branded the complaints “unfounded and self-serving”.

But in the latest twist of the ongoing saga, Debenhams confirmed it would look at the proposed loan from Sports Direct.

The loan would see Debenhams use £40m to pay down existing debt and the remaining £110m available for working capital.


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