Department store retailer also involved in sale-and-leaseback deal
Debenhams is understood to have bought eight Allders stores. Debenhams, jointly owned by CVC Capital and Texas Pacific, has bought the ailing department store chain's outlets in locations including Basildon, Portsmouth, Ilford, Chatham, Slough and Clapham in south London.

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.