Debenhams’ new owners are set to appoint a turnaround chief just one day after seizing control of the business.

The consortium, understood to comprise banks such as Barclays and Bank of Ireland and hedge funds including Alcentra and Silver Point, will bring in consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal’s managing director Stefaan Vansteenkiste in an attempt to restructure the struggling chain, Sky News has reported.

stefaan vansteenkiste

Source: Alvarez & Marsal

Stefaan Vansteenkiste has been hired as a turnaround expert

It is unclear whether Vansteenkiste will replace chief executive Sergio Bucher.

There has been much speculation over how the new ownership consortium will treat Debenhams. The business is technically up for sale, with the process being led by Lazard, but any sale will be extremely complex due to the high levels of debt the business is saddled with.

This hire suggests the group wants to pursue a wholesale restructure in a bid to recover its money before it is able to sell it on. The announcement of around 50 store closures is expected over the coming weeks.

Vansteenkiste was recently interim chief executive of Belgian toy retailer Intertoys and has also executed turnarounds in the aviation and food and drink industries.