The response from investors to Debenhams’ open offer to raise £323m has been subdued, after only 30.3 per cent of the total shares offered were taken up.

The department store offered 242.4m shares to investors, but had acceptances for only 73.4m.

The fundraising was announced on June 4 as the retailer sought to reduce concerns over its debt levels and acquire a war chest for possible opportunistic acquisitions.

The new shares were offered at 80p a share as an open offer and share placing. Debenhams chief executive RobTempleman said at the time that the price per share, which was at a 13.3 per cent discount to the closing price the day before, was indicative of the level of support for the fundraising.

The remaining 169m shares that were not taken up have been allocated to shareholders who took part in the placing.

Debenhams is laden with £972m of debt which Templeman has said he wants to take “off the agenda”. Templeman has said that concerns over the debt-pile had weighed down the market value of the department store chain.

At an extraordinary general meeting to be held at 11am today, shareholders are expected to vote in favour of the placing and open offer.

Shares are expected to begin trading on June 26.