• Debenhams’ Irish business exits examinership
  • The move will save 1,330 jobs that had been under threat
  • Comes after the High Court approved a restructuring plan for the business

Debenhams’ Irish business has been saved after the High Court approved a restructuring programme that will safeguard 1,330 jobs.

The plan means Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Limited – a subsidiary of Debenhams in the UK – will exit examinership.

As previously reported, KPMG Ireland was appointed as the interim examiner for the department store chain’s Irish arm back in May as it sought deals with creditors in an attempt to salvage the business and keep all 11 stores trading.

It sought court protection in the wake of losses sustained since the recession in 2007 – which hit €6.7m in the year to August 2015 – and the withdrawal of support from its UK parent.

Debenhams’ Irish subsidiary has now successfully secured new leases at several key stores as part of the survival plan.

It had previously been in a row with the Roche family, who sold Roches Stores to Debenhams in 2006 but remained a landlord on some of the retailer’s biggest stores in Ireland.

Future ‘secured’

Debenhams Ireland director John Bebbington said: “The directors of Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd are delighted to have secured the future of Debenhams stores in Ireland.

“We are very pleased with the overall outcome of securing jobs and keeping open all 11 stores, thereby ensuring that we continue to offer our customers a great selection of products and brands.

“Our priorities are now to implement the restructuring plan to ensure Debenhams’ long-term sustainable future in Ireland.

“To that end, an investment plan for the business has commenced in addition to a funding facility that will provide support to the business for the next three years.”