In December 2003, CVC Funds led a consortium of investors to acquire Debenhams Plc in one of the largest public-to-private transactions in the United Kingdom. Debenhams is one of Britain’s leading department store groups with a strong presence in key product categories, such as women’s wear, men’s wear, homeware and health and beauty.
Debenhams is Britain’s second largest department store chain, operating 139 department stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, including 10 Desire at Debenhams (a small store concept for women’s fashion, accessories, lingerie and cosmetics), an internet shopping division, and a further 40 international franchise stores in 14 countries located in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
The company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in May 2006. In late 2009, CVC Funds disposed 93% of the residual holding of listed shares in the department store business. In April 2010, the remainder of the ordinary shares were sold.