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Debenhams Ireland Exits Examinership

The Irish subsidiary of Britain’s second-largest department store chain by revenue emerged from examinership Friday (Ireland’s version of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S), saving its 11 stores from closure and more than 1,300 jobs.

The company applied for court protection in May following almost a decade of consistent losses, high rents and the recent withdrawal of financial support from its U.K. parent company, Debenhams Retail plc, to whom it reportedly owed 46 million euros ($52 million). The high court chose KPMG Ireland as the interim examiner in an effort to save the retailer’s stores, four of which are located in Dublin.

“We are very pleased with the overall outcome of securing jobs and keeping open all 11 stores, thereby ensuring that we continue to offer our customers a great selection of products and brands,” director John Bebbington said in a statement to the Irish Times.

“Our priorities are now to implement the restructuring plan to ensure Debenhams’ long-term sustainable future in Ireland. To that end, an investment plan for the business has commenced in addition to a funding facility that will provide support to the business for the next three years.”

As part of the restructuring plan, 98 employees will be offered voluntary redundancy, but there will be no compulsory layoffs. According to reports, about 29 million euros ($32.9 million) in debt has been written off.

Times have been tough for its parent company, too, which reported a 0.2% decline in sales at stores open for at least a year in the most recent quarter.

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