Debenhams acquires Danish chain for £12m

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The Independent Online

Debenhams has acquired a Danish department store chain for £12.3m, signalling its growing ambitions beyond the UK.

The department store chain has acquired Magasin and will sell its own-bought ranges, such as Designers at Debenhams, in the stores.

On home soil, Magasin is best known for its store in the centre of Copenhagen, which sources said is "the Harvey Nichols of Denmark".

Rob Templeman, the chief executive of Debenhams, said: "We believe the close fit between the two businesses will be mutually beneficial. Magasin is one of the most recognised brands in Denmark, with a loyal customer base and some great products."

He added: "The success of our international business demonstrates that there is demand for our own bought and Designer brands outside our home market, which we believe will complement Magasin's existing brands and deliver both outstanding value and choice to the Danish consumer."

Debenhams will run Magasin from its headquarters, in London. Mr Templeman said it would benefit from the UK department store's infrastructure and economies of scale. Formerly owned by the Icelandic investor Baugur, Magasin delivered sales of £228.7m in the year to 28 February 2009. Debenhams' management estimate it will deliver Ebitda of £15m in the financial year to the end of August 2011.

There are no current plans to rebrand the Magasin stores, as the brand has far more resonance with customers in Denmark than Debenhams does. However, Debenhams acquired nine of the Roches department stores in Ireland in 2006 and eight have now been rebranded to Debenhams.

Debenhams, which has 145 department stores in the UK and Irish Republic, has 52 international stores in 17 countries. Over the past year, it has been expanding in India and the Middle East.