Mike Ashley's Frasers Group in talks to rescue Debenhams – business live

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Could Mike Ashley save Debenhams from liquidation?

The Company confirms that it is in negotiations with the administrators of Debenhams’ UK business regarding a potential rescue transaction for Debenhams’ UK operations.

Whilst Frasers Group hopes that a rescue package can be put in place and jobs saved, time is short and the position is further complicated by the recent administration of the Arcadia Group, Debenhams’ biggest concession holder. There is no certainty that any transaction will take place, particularly if discussions cannot be concluded swiftly

The Frasers Group tycoon has revived his interest in taking over the struggling department store chain at the eleventh hour. The move could save Debenhams from liquidation: the 242-year-old group had seemed set to disappear from the high street for good after JD Sports withdrew from the running to buy it from administrators last Tuesday.

Ashley’s group, which owns Sports Direct, and advisers to Debenhams are trying to thrash out a deal that could value the chain at more than £200m, depending on how much stock is left. Frasers would operate Debenhams’ 124 stores under 12-month licences.

Related: Debenhams falls into administration, wiping out Mike Ashley’s stake

“(There) is a fantastic business inside it, probably 70 stores, and a very good website which I’m sure someone will be buying, so I don’t think all these jobs are going.

NEW: Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group confirms in negotiations with the administrators of Debenhams about a potential rescue deal

“Frasers Group hopes that a rescue package can be put in place and jobs saved, time is short and further complicated by the administration of Arcadia”

“There is no certainty that any transaction will take place, particularly if discussions cannot be concluded swiftly.”

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