The chairman of Debenhams has insisted that the struggling department store chain is not facing a cliff edge.
Chairman Max Gifford said the business, which recently entered administration for the second time in a year, has been doing better than expected.
Fears have been mounting about the retailer’s future following reports that Administrator FRP Advisory is aiming to complete a sale of the business by the end of this month.
“We are sitting with over £95m in the bank, more than £50m higher than we expected to have when we went into administration,” Gifford told the BBC.
“That’s really changed the whole complexion and prospects,” he said.
“Because we’ve been able to build this amount of cash within the company, the administrator can work with the management team to continue to trade the business,” he added.
The beleaguered high street chain, which has made 6,500 workers redundant during the pandemic, has appointed liquidators as a last resort.
Last month it was reported that Debenhams had appointed Hilco Capital, which specialises in restructuring and refinancing firms, to draw up a contingency plan if a buyer cannot be found.
According to Sky News, one “illustrative scenario”, which has been circulated among potential buyers, is that half of Debenhams’ UK estate could be liquidated. Under that plan Debenhams would be left with 60 stores.
The high street chain recently launched a fight against business rates hikes, warning that it could be forced to shutter more stores and lay off thousands of workers if it is unsuccessful