Debenhams has emerged victorious in a bidding war with Sports Direct to acquire its own business in Ireland.

The parent company sought off competition from UK billionaire Mike Ashley, who owns Sports Direct and is a shareholder in Debenhams, reports the Irish Independent.

Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United football club, has been vying to secure a bigger foothold in Ireland after acquiring Irish department store chain Heatons earlier this year.

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The news follows the announcement that Debenhams Retail (Ireland) has sought examinership because of consistent losses sustained since the recession in 2007.

Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed interim examiner in May, after the High Court was informed the company has a reasonable prospect of survival if certain steps are met.