THE future of Debenhams’ Scottish stores and staff remains unclear as the retailer moved to secure more funding against a turbulent backdrop.

The company, which has 14 stores in Scotland, said it is in advanced talks to borrow £150 million, just days after Mike Ashley launched a bid to seize control of the retailer.

The struggling department store chain said that it is in negotiations for the funds, £40m of which will go towards refinancing a bridging loan secured in February.

The retailer is battling a £500 million-plus debt mountain which it is also trying to refinance, with a debt-for-equity swap or rights issue said to be expected.

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Part of its plans include the closure of 50 stores, potentially through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The news comes after Sports Direct chief Mr Ashley tabled a proposal last week for a shareholder meeting to remove “all of the current members of the Debenhams board”, other than finance chief Rachel Osborne.

Mr Ashley owns just under 30 per cent of Debenhams through Sports Direct.

If his plans are successful, it is thought he would step down from his position as chief executive of Sports Direct, though would retain his controlling 60% stake in that company.

The announcement came just days after Debenhams issued its latest profit warning.

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It warned that trading headwinds, efforts to put the group on a secure financial footing and macroeconomic uncertainties are hitting the company hard.

The department store chain said in an unscheduled update its January statement claiming it was on track to deliver profits in line with market expectations is “no longer valid”. The profit alert was the fourth in just over a year.

Its store closure plan is thought to have put 4,000 jobs across the UK at risk.

Shares rose over 2% at 3.63p.