DEBENHAMS is reportedly on the brink of securing £200m from lenders, which would allow the department store to escape a takeover push by Mike Ashley'sSports Direct.
The retailer - which confirmed earlier this month it was in advanced negotiations with lenders about additional facilities of around £150m - could announce the agreement as early as today, Sky News said last night.
The figure increased to £200m after Ashley made an offer to provide the firm with unsecured loan of £150m, which would have been available if Debenhams issued an additional five per cent of its shares to Sports Direct and made Ashley its chief executive.
Yesterday, Sports Direct demanded a Debenhams general meeting to eject the board and give Ashley the executive role at the retailer.
The request replaced a previously issued demand, which was rendered invalid because Sports Direct had been holding its shares through a third party nominee.
"Sports Direct would like the matter of Debenhams board appointments to be put to the vote of the Debenhams shareholders as soon as possible," Ashley's firm said in a statement.
Sports Direct made a shock bid to chuck out the Debenhams board and install its billionaire owner in an "executive role" on 7 March.
Ashley, who owns Sports Direct, said he would step down as director and chief executive of Sports Direct if Debenhams met his demands. Ashley currently holds just under 30 per cent of Debenhams' shares.
Debenhams, which is currently undertaking a restructuring plan in an attempt to save the business, has recently issued a series of profit warnings, causing its share price to crash to less than 3p.
(c) 2019 City A.M., source Newspaper