Facebook set to snap up Debenhams HQ as embattled retailer surrenders lease
Facebook has agreed to swoop up new office space left empty by troubled department store chain Debenhams, which is vacating its West End HQ to help pay off a mounting debt pile.
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The tech giant, which which has been ramping up its footprint in the capital in the last 12 months, is expanding its presence at Regent’s Place by taking a further 175,000 square feet (sq ft) in the building.
Debenhams is leaving the offices after a six-year stay.
The embattled retailer is returning to its flagship London office in Oxford Street after agreeing to surrender its lease with the property’s owner, British Land, on 1 November this year.
The lease at Regent’s Place, which is located on the north side of Euston Road in Camden, had been due to run to 2038.
In the summer Facebook, which already occupies space at the mixed use campus, announced plans to double its office footprint in the capital by moving to a new Kings Cross headquarters by 2021.
Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher, said that the move back to Oxford Street “will deliver a material saving in our annual rent bill and lease commitments”.
This move comes amid a major cost reduction drive from Debenhams, which is currently looking to push through a refinancing deal with bondholders.
The beleaguered department store chain has been battling to secure more funding in recent months amid growing difficulties for the retailer, which has seen its share price plummet over the last year with long leases and online competition hitting the firm’s profits.
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Debenhams’ Oxford Street store, where the head office was situated until 2013, has a lease which runs until 2039.
The move is set to take Facebook's Regent's Place footprint up to around 290,000 sq ft.