Debenhams has said it is in “advanced negotiations” with existing lenders about obtaining an additional £150m worth of funding.

The embattled department store chain said £40m of the cash will be used to refinance a £40m bridging loan that it received in February.

Securing the money is seen as pivotal as Debenhams’ board seeks to fend off an attempted coup by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

The sportswear retailer, which owns a nearly 30% stake in the department store chain, demanded a general meeting of shareholders to vote on Ashley’s proposal to oust all of its remaining directors bar one on Friday.

Sports Direct said that, should the move prove successful, Ashley would appoint himself as executive director of Debenhams and hand over the reins at Sports Direct to the retailer’s deputy chief financial officer Chris Wootton.

Debenhams said it was “disappointed” by Ashley’s coup attempt.

It is the second time since the beginning of the year that Ashley has attempted to trigger a boardroom reshuffle at Debenhams. In January, Sports Direct teamed up with fellow investor Landmark Group to vote the department store’s then chair Sir Ian Cheshire and chief executive Sergio Bucher off the board.

Debenhams said today that there would be a further announcement “in due course” about progress with its refinancing.