Debenhams has confirmed that it has received a legal challenge to its CVA from Sports Direct, which boss Terry Duddy has slammed as “an unnecessary distraction”.
The department store retailer said it has received applications from parties including Sports Direct to challenge its restructuring plan, which won approval from landlords and creditors last month.
A spokesperson for the retailer said Sports Direct has launched the challenge in conjunction with landlord CPC, which lets six stores to Debenhams.
Debenhams executive chairman Terry Duddy said: “We believe the challenges to the CVAs to be without merit and will vigorously defend them. Given the overwhelming support for the proposals from creditors, including over 80% of landlords, this is an unnecessary distraction as we implement our restructuring plans.”
A spokesperson for Celine, the investor consortium which took control of Debenhams following its pre-pack administration last month, added: “We note the spurious challenges to Debenhams’ CVA proposals, which were approved by the vast majority of landlords and more than 90% of all creditors.
“We will move forward with our debt restructuring process as expected. The CVA provides a platform to deliver a turnaround in the business for which the lending group has committed £200m of new funding and remains supportive.”
Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, who was the department store retailer’s largest stakeholder prior to its pre-pack administration, had reportedly been considering launching a legal challenge against Debenhams’ CVA since last month.
Ashley labelled Debenhams’ pre-pack administration in April “a national scandal” and said Debenhams’ board had “unwittingly or otherwise” played its part in lenders seizing control of the business “through incompetence, or worse, through collusion”.