The war of words between Sports Direct and Debenhams heated up on Monday as Sports Direct delivered strong criticism of Debenhams' board at 7am, later coming back with a shock announcement that it could make a full bid.
Debenhams is seeking a £200m funding lifeline from existing lenders which would allow it to launch a drastic refinancing plan. Mike Ashley responded with an offer to buy its Danish business for £100m in cash.
Another week, another likely UK fashion brand going under. Liam Gallagher's label Pretty Green is expected to appoint administrators in the week starting March 25 as the weak retail environment claims its latest victim.
Sports Direct International on Thursday urged Debenhams board again to hold a general meeting to appoint the sportswear retailer's owner, Mike Ashley, to the board and remove nearly all the current directors.
It may seem like Mike Ashley has enough on his hands at the moment, between running House of Fraser, his Debenhams ambitions, and the other chains he has acquired. But it seems he's also interested in buying LK Bennett.
Newspapers suggest a pre-pack administration filing is an option for Debenhams while Mike Ashley continues to fight for a role at the company and an investment firm holding 5% of the shares has sold its stake.
Sports Direct said on Wednesday it offered Debenhams an interest-free loan in return for a further 5 percent stake, just as the department store was close to securing funds to fend off a bid from Sports Direct's founder.
Debenhams issued a very short statement on Monday saying that it was in talks on its financing needs. But it spoke volumes in terms of the retailer’s determination to rebuff attempts by Mike Ashley to take control.