// A Debenhams landlord has contested a judge’s ruling to allow store closures to go ahead
// Combined Property Control Group has appealed the controversial company voluntary arrangement made by Debenhams in September
// Store closures are set to begin in January, with 50 of Debenhams’ 166 stores slated to shut
A Debenhams landlord has hit back against a judge’s ruling to close stores.
In September Combined Property Control Group (CPC) challenged Debenhams’ controversial company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
CPC owns six properties let by Debenhams and claimed it was being treated unfairly as Debenhams’ creditor.
Mr Justice Norris rejected a challenge to the CVA, allowing Debenhams to continue with closing 50 of its 166 stores and secure rent cuts on others.
However, according to a report by the Telegraph, CPC has now challenged the judge’s ruling and appealed the decision.
A hearing is expected to take place at the end of January.
Sports Direct backed the original legal battle in September and was criticised by the judge for attempting to detail Debenhams’ rescue plan.
With Debenhams now owned by lenders and Sports Direct no longer holding a stake in the business, it’s unclear if Ashley is bankrolling the appeal.
Sports Direct had been Debenhams’ largest shareholder and attempted to gain control of the department store chain for months.
In April, lenders took control of Debenhams after it rejected a rescue offer from Sports Direct to inject £200 million into the business.
Sports Direct’s shares were wiped out in the process, as well as other shareholders.
Ashley had spent an estimated £150 million on his stake in the retailer.
Meanwhile, most of Debenhams’ UK stores are expected to stay open until after Christmas.
By January it will shut down 50 stores and rent reductions or lease negotiations on a further 105 stores will have been sought.