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JD Sports pulls out of deal to buy Debenhams


JD Sports has pulled out of talks regarding a possible rescue of Debenhams in the wake of the collapse of Arcadia.

The Bury-headquartered sportswear retailer was said to be interested in the Debenhams website as well as up to half of the group”s 124 physical outlets, potentially spying an opportunity to diversify into homewares and beauty products.

But in a statement to investors, the chain wrote this morning: “JD Sports Fashion Plc, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated.”

Sir Philip Green’s high street empire Arcadia, which was a major concessions operator in Debenhams stores, last evening confirmed it had gone into liquidation.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and partner at FRP, said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams.

“However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.”

The only potential buyer left now looks to be House of Fraser owner Mike Ashley, who previously lost £150million when the chain was taken over by its lenders last year.

Should a buyer not materalise, around 12,000 Debenhams jobs will be at risk.

In October, JD Sports revealed that its half-year revenue had surged by 47% year on year to £2.7bn, driven by a 10% jump in like-for-like sales across the UK and Ireland stores.

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