Frasers Group CEO Mike Ashley is reportedly angry at being “excluded” from the Debenhams auction after telling the parties handling it that the data provided about the business was “woefully inadequate” and that his firm couldn’t bid on such vague information.
His lawyers claimed Frasers had received less information than other bidders and claimed this was part of a deliberate attempt to shut it out of the process.
But responding to the claims, Debenhams said: “We are conducting a fair and thorough process. Information has been provided to parties on the basis of the status of their proposals and subject to the restrictions of competition law.”
The story was reported by The Times, which also said restructuring firm Hilco is preparing to start liquidating parts of the business.
It said Hilco had planned to send its team into the stores at some point this week, although the newly-announced English lockdown could frustrate those plans.
The story also said Hilco’s involvement doesn’t mean the end for Debenhams with sources telling the newspaper that the restructuring firm intends continuing to operate some stores. It also said Hilco boss Paul McGowan is a close associate of Sir Philip Green with Green’s Arcadia being Debenhams’ biggest concession holder.
The Times added that The Hut Group had made a bid for the online Debenhams business but this was unsuccessful.
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