Debenhams has entered Administration after talks fail with sports direct boss Mike Ashley
Debenhams stores are continuing to trade normally for now, but dozens of branches are already facing closure - and shareholders including Sports Direct, which owned a stake of almost 30%, have been wiped out.
Debenhams, which has 166 UK stores and employs more than 25,000 people, said suppliers, employees, pension holders and customers would not be immediately affected by the transaction.
Administrators at FTI Consulting were appointed to the retailer just before 10 am on Tuesday - and they immediately sold the group's operating companies to a new entity owned by its lenders.
Its new owners, including banks and hedge funds led by Silver Point, are expected to carry out a restructuring including a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to cut back on the group's rent bill and close loss-making stores.