// JD Sports still in the running for Debenhams
// Sports retailer has reportedly gained access to “secure data room” in order to examine the sale
// News comes days after Mike Ashley withdrew from the bid after allegations of being “excluded” from sales process
JD Sports has emerged as a key suitor in the sale of Debenhams, according to a report by The Telegraph.
The sportswear retailer is believed to be examining Debenhams’ finances in a secure data room, and has been granted increased access in the last fortnight, as reported in The Telegraph this weekend.
JD Sports was previously linked to the sale of the beleaguered department store chain, but it was believed JD Sports hadn’t tabled a firm offer.
The news comes 10 days after Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group reportedly withdrew from the bidding, after refusing to match the £300 million price tag set by Debenhams’ advisors.
Debenhams’ bidding process is being managed by bankers at Lazard and insolvency firm FRP Advisory.
Ashley alleged he was “excluded” from the sales process, and that the data provided to Frasers Group in order to ascertain the suitability of a sale had been “woefully inadequate”.
The retail tycoon said it was “almost unbelievable” that Frasers Group was expected to make a bid on the vague information, according to a report earlier this month by The Sunday Times.
The deadline to sell Debenhams has been extended after the second lockdown in England was announced for November.