// Mike Ashley makes a renewed bid for Debenhams
// Sports Direct retail mogul said to have improved offer for historic department store group
Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley has made a new offer for Debenhams, renewing his bid for the beleaguered retailer, according to the Sunday Times.
As Lazard’s auction for Debenhams nears its final stages, Ashley is reported to have made an improved offer for the retailer.
It marks a new stage of Ashley’s long-running pursuit of the business.
Ashley previously held almost 30 per cent of the chain and lost around £150 million when Debenhams was taken over by its lenders last year.
Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in 12 months back in April, when its lenders seized control of the business.
In July Lazard was appointed to conduct a sales process for Debenhams.
The investment firm has since asked interested buyers to submit offers by the start of September.
Last month India’s richest man and Reliance Retail owner Mukesh Ambani was said to be in the race to make a bid on Debenhams, but is reported to have dropped out of the running.
The department store chain also began the sales process of its Danish retail business Magasin du Nord earlier in September in a bid to generate between £150 million and £200 million.
The retailer drafted in Hilco Capital in August to work on “contingency plans” for the business, should a sale or any other rescue be unsuccessful and it falls into liquidation – a last resort that would place more than 12,000 jobs at risk.