Dubai eyes British high street crown jewel

Department store chain Debenhams could be bought by Landmark Group, report says.
Dubai eyes British high street crown jewel
By David Westley
Wed 19 Dec 2007 11:18 AM

Troubled department store chain Debenhams soared more than 10% in trading yesterday after it released a statement stating Milestone Resources, the investment arm of Mahesh “Micky” Jagtiani’s Landmark Group, had acquired a 7.4% stake in the company, and could be poised to buy it.

The Dubai-based Landmark Group has retail stores across India and the Middle East.

A report in UK newspaper The Times noted shares in Debenhams closed up 8.3%, or 6.25 pence (13 cents), at 81.75 pence ($1.64) on the day following the announcement.

Debenhams' shares have fallen sharply since re-floating in May 2006, fueling speculation that it could fall into the hands of an investor looking for a bargain. Its shares are currently trading 57% below their value at the start of 2007, The Times notes.

Sentiment about British retailers has taken a beating since the onset of fears about the impact of the credit crunch on the British economy.

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