LONDON: Now that Selfridges has been all but bought by Canadian billionaire Galen Weston, it’s time for the spotlight to fall on another British retailer: Debenhams. After nearly a month of speculation, Debenhams plc on Tuesday finally confirmed that the approach it received on June 29 was a joint one from CVC Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group. The company said in a statement that discussions were continuing with CVC/TPG as well as Permira Advisers Limited — the U.K.-based venture capital group that expressed interest in the store in mid-May. As reported in these columns Thursday, Permira is expected to make a formal offer of $2.4 billion for the department store chain this week. Permira has been working with Debenhams’ chief executive, Belinda Earl, and her team on a management buyout.

Meanwhile, the Debenhams statement said that for the 20 weeks ended July 19, total sales at the store rose 7.8 percent with same-store sales up 3.8 percent. “Debenhams continues to trade well and in line with our expectations,” said Earl. “We are benefiting from the ongoing investment in our stores and the brand. Our women’s wear business is on an improving trend, with young fashion brands showing strong sales growth.”

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