Retail veteran Terry Duddy is being lined up to take over as chief executive of department store chain Debenhams as administrators pin their hopes on the troubled firm’s interim chairman to lead a major restructuring plan.
Current chief executive Sergio Bucher is expected to step down in the coming days while Duddy, who is currently serving as interim chairman of Debenhams, is understood to be the favourite to take the reigns as boss.
Following reports in the Sunday Times that the new owners of Debenhams are set to force out the current boss, a source close to Bucher said today: "Having stayed on after the AGM and got the refinancing in place, Sergio thinks now would be the right moment to move on. The upcoming restructuring can then be led by someone offering a fresh start."
The speculation comes as the lenders of Debenhams prepare to trigger a wave of store closures to help pay off debts and end long lease contracts.
Last week the embattled retail chain was handed over to administrators, with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley losing his near 30 per cent stake in the firm.
A spokesperson from the group that now owns Debenhams, which includes hedge funds Silver Point Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management, said: "The investor consortium has provided Debenhams with £200m in fresh funding, which will see it through the restructuring process and be available to fund the company for the foreseeable future.
"Within the consortium, there is extensive turnaround experience, which we will deploy to support the management’s turnaround plan. We are pleased that now under new ownership, the business can look forward with confidence, and we intend to work closely with management and the board to position Debenhams for a long-term successful future."