Control of Debenhams has fallen into the hands of its lenders as part of an administration process.

Debenhams has 166 stores, which will initially continue to trade, although about 50 branches had already been earmarked for closure in the future.

The department store rejected last-ditch rescue offers from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, which has been locked in an acrimonious battle for control.

Its lenders are made up of High Street banks and US hedge funds.

These include Barclays and Bank of Ireland, as well as Silver Point and GoldenTree.

The administrators said the lenders would now look to sell the business as soon as possible.

What happens now?

Debenhams has passed through a pre-pack administration process. This lets a company sell itself, or its assets, as a going concern, without

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