Separately, Debenhams is expected to announce a sale-and-leaseback agreement with British Land for 23 of its sites. The transaction, which involves all of Debenhams' properties, will include its flagship Oxford Street store. The deal will provide a£500 million boost for the retailer. Debenhams has leased its properties back for a minimum of 30 years. The leases start from March 2004 and the retailer will pay a total rent of£27.9 million per year on the sites, starting from March 2005.
A spokesman for Debenhams said that the bulk of the money from the sale will mmost likely go towards paying off mortgages taken out on the stores and other debt.