Baugur cools Debenhams speculation

Icelandic investment group Baugur today moved to dampen speculation that it is mulling a bid for department store chain Debenhams.

Icelandic investment group Baugur today moved to dampen speculation that it is mulling a bid for department store chain Debenhams.

Baugur, which has built up a near-8% stake in Debenhams, has been linked with a potential bid since its millionaire founder Jon Asgeir Johannesson praised the business and boasted of a £600 million acquisition warchest in a recent interview.

The company said today it had “no current intention” to make an offer for the business, or to increase its shareholding to the 30% level which would oblige it to make an offer.

Under takeover rules, Baugur is now barred from making a potential bid for the next six months unless Debenhams’ board agrees or another company emerges with an offer.

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