Sports Direct has hit out at Debenhams’ board for rejecting its £100m offer for Magasin Du Nord and for failing to engage in discussions with the business.
Mike Ashley’s sportswear business lodged the bid for Debenhams’ Danish arm on Friday, but said the offer was conditional on the tycoon becoming chief executive of the embattled chain.
Debenhams rebuffed the proposal, just hours after it revealed it had secured a £200m lifeline from its lenders.
However, the department store operator warned that, while the deal provided it with the “ability to pursue restructuring options to secure the future of the business”, some of those options would “result in no equity value for the company’s current shareholders”.
Sports Direct, which owns just under 30% of Debenhams, said that was “not a workable solution”.
The retailer insisted its offer for Magasin Du Nord “represents in excess of fair value and addresses Debenhams’ immediate liquidity concerns”.
The retailer alleged that Debenhams did not “provide further details of its valuation” for the chain.
Sports Direct, which previously offered Debenhams a £150m interest-free loan, said it was attempting to offer Debenhams “a valid alternative” to an insolvency process.
It said it had “participated in discussions with Debenhams’ advisory group”, but lashed out at the retailer’s board for failing to engage in the same way.
Sports Direct said: “It cannot be said that the board of Debenhams has actively engaged in these discussions or are open to any form of alternative proposal from any third party.
“This lack of engagement and the related limited access to information has made it very difficult for Sports Direct to present a proposal that addresses Debenhams’ funding and restructuring requirements beyond the immediate liquidity need.”