BHS thrown a lifeline by creditors

28 March 2016 - Janet Bird

BHS thrown a lifeline by creditors

BHS has been thrown a lifeline after creditors and landlords voted to allow the beleaguered department store to cut the rent on almost half of its stores in a bid to stay afloat.

The 88-year-old retailer had filed what is known as Company Voluntary Agreements (CVA) - a type of insolvency proceeding that allows a company in financial trouble to make a deal with creditors about reducing its liabilities.

As part of the CVA, BHS asked its landlords to drastically reduce the rent paid on 87 of its 164 stores.

At a meeting on March 23, 95 percent of BHS' landlords and creditors voted in favour of its CVA application.

The decision secures the short term future of 10,000 BHS staff. However, the company still needs to restructure its pension scheme, which currently has a deficit of £571 million. It also needs to raise £100 million pounds to fund a turnaround plan that will see the number of in-house brands at BHS reduced and a premium range introduced. There are also plans to revamp the chain's website and introduce food departments in its stores.

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