Debenhams bids for stock and brand of Jane Norman
Debenhams yesterday tabled a bid to acquire the stock and brand of the troubled women's fashion retailer Jane Norman, as the latter faces a huge quarterly rent payment tomorrow.
The 15 banks behind Jane Norman put the chain up for sale this month by hiring PricewaterhouseCoopers, and are keen to complete a deal in the coming days. The company is due to pay its third-quarter rent bill tomorrow and it is unclear if its lenders have the appetite for such a payment.
Debenhams wants to keep the profitable Jane Norman concessions trading in its department stores, but it has no interest in acquiring the chain's 91 high-street branches.
In addition to stock held in the concessions, Debenhams is also thought to have offered to buy – at a sizeable discount – some of the stock in Jane Norman's standalone shops.
The department store has the benefit of a change-of-ownership clause in its contract, which means it could terminate Jane Norman's concession contract if the business is sold to a third party.
While Debenhams appears to be in pole position to bag Jane Norman, a deal is by no means certain. Other unnamed bidders may yet come through to rescue the chain at the 11th hour.
However, Aurora Fashions, the company behind Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, appears unlikely to make a bid. Retail-restructuring companies are also circling Jane Norman. All the parties mentioned declined to comment yesterday.
Formerly backed by the defunct Icelandic investor Baugur, Jane Norman is labouring under debts of £140m, on sales at a similar level.
Debenhams has previously acquired the assets of other former concession partners – such as the womenswear retailer Principles and the footwear business Faith – and taken them out of administration over the past two years.
Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Oklahoma tornado latest: Obama pledges support for 'as long as it takes' to rebuild the suburb of Moore
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £1000 per day: Orgtel: Programme Change Manager - Banking - London - £8...
£180 - £230 per day: Orgtel: Operations Analyst - Leading Bank in the City of ...
£500 per day: Orgtel: A top tier banking client urgently requires Finance Busi...
£425 - £550 per day: Orgtel: Senior Finance Project Manager - £550 - Bristol -...