Boohoo hails "transformational" deal after buying Debenhams brand for £55m
Manchester-based fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website for £55m.
The deal will not prevent the Debenhams' remaining 118 High Street stores from closure and up to 12,000 jobs at the department store are still set to be lost.
The 242-year-old Debenhams chain is already going through a liquidation process after failing to secure a last-minute rescue sale last week. JD Sports had been among the potential suitors.
Boohoo, which has already bought a number of High Street brands out of administration including Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen, said Debenhams was expected to relaunch on its web platform in early 2022.
Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period in the meantime.
Boohoo's executive chairman Mahmud Kamani, who founded the company with designer Carol Kane, said: "This is a transformational deal for the group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as ecommerce continues to grow. Our ambition is to create the UK's largest marketplace.
"Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion ecommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware."
Administrators FRP Advisory said they had undertaken a "thorough and robust process" to achieve "the best outcome for Debenhams' stakeholders".
"This transaction will allow a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge under strong new ownership, including an online operation and the opportunity to secure an international franchise network that will operate under licence using the Debenhams name," they added.