April 15, 2019

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Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher ‘anticipated to step down’

Sergio Bucher

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Sergio Bucher joined Debenhams from Amazon

Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher is predicted to step down following the struggling division retailer chain’s current takeover by its lenders.

“Having stayed on and got the refinancing in place, Sergio thinks now would be the right moment to move on,” a supply shut to him informed the BBC.

“The upcoming restructuring can then be led by someone offering a fresh start,” the supply added.

The retailer was taken over lower than every week in the past after getting into administration.

The group of lenders that now owns Debenhams – together with banks akin to Barclays and US hedge funds akin to Silver Point and Golden Tree – have offered the retailer with £200m in funding.

The group stated it had “extensive turnaround experience, which we will deploy to support the management’s turnaround plan”.

It additionally stated it supposed to “work closely with management and the board to position Debenhams for a long-term successful future”.

“We are pleased that now under new ownership, the business can look forward with confidence,” they added.

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Mr Bucher had already been voted off the retailer’s board after main shareholders, Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, and Landmark Group, voted in opposition to Mr Bucher’s re-election in January.

Sports Direct founder Mr Ashley – who held a close to 30% stake in Debenhams – made a number of affords to take it over.

However, his remaining provide of £200m was rejected as a result of it was conditional on him changing into chief govt.

‘National scandal’

Mr Ashley subsequently described the Debenhams takeover as a “national scandal” and known as for the administration course of to be reversed.

Debenhams is the largest division retailer chain within the UK with 166 shops. It employs about 25,000 folks.

Its shops will proceed to commerce as regular through the preliminary restructuring course of, earlier than closures start subsequent 12 months.

As properly because the deliberate closures, it has additionally been renegotiating rents with landlords to deal with its funding issues.

It has not launched an inventory of which outlets could also be shut.

Debenhams is one among a string of well-known names struggling in a troublesome High Street surroundings.

Last 12 months, Poundworld, Toys R Us and Maplin all went bust and disappeared altogether.

Other family names – Homebase, Mothercare, Carpetright and New Look – have been compelled into restructuring offers with their landlords, closing tons of of shops.

Music chain HMV just lately fell into administration earlier than being purchased.

The rising reputation of on-line purchasing, increased enterprise charges, rising labour prices and the autumn within the pound following the Brexit vote – which has elevated the price of imported items – have been blamed for contributing to retailers’ woes.

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