Carol Ryan joined Breakingviews in 2014 and writes about the consumer, luxury goods and retail sectors. Previously, she was a freelance journalist in Ireland. She holds a masters degree in human rights from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights in Venice, Italy and a degree in sociology and social policy from Trinity College Dublin.
A debt deal with creditors means the scandal-hit retailer is close to removing the imminent threat of default. Lenders have to wait three years to get paid. But on paper they get a higher payout, a say on asset sales and returns that might otherwise go to shareholders.
Supermarket price wars and greater competition from other manufacturers hit second-quarter sales in the U.S. and Europe. That leaves the Magnum ice cream maker reliant on more volatile regions for growth. Bolder acquisitions would be one way to address the issue.
Debenhams shares hit record lows this week after insurers reduced credit cover for suppliers. Retail is the second-riskiest UK sector for insolvency and Britain is one of the most exposed to the shift to online shopping. Its stores offer an early warning for counterparts abroad.