Debenhams Holds Talks With Landlords to Cut Store Rents, FT Says

(Bloomberg) -- Debenhams Plc is in talks with landlords to negotiate rent cuts as the U.K. department-store chain seeks to ease the burden of its store portfolio, FT reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

British Land Co. and Intu Properties Plc have the largest exposure to the retailer, the newspaper reported, citing data from Colliers International. FT said Debenhams declined to comment.

Debenhams said earlier this month that it’s in talks with lenders as it faces at least 300 million pounds of debt coming due starting next year. The stalwart of British shopping districts, which has struggled to keep pace with Inc. and other online retailers, said discounting will likely impact its gross margin in the first half, following three profit warnings last year. It plans to close as many as 50 stores.

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