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Iceland's Baugur Says it Won't Make an Offer for Debenhams

Icelandic investment Baugur group, which already owns a number of British retailers, said Friday that it doesn't intend to make an offer for department store owner Debenhams.

The company, which had built up a stake of about 9% in Debenhams, said in a statement that it has no current intention to make an offer for the company or to acquire a shareholding in it that would force it to make an offer for the whole business.

Shares of Debenhams fell 2.9% to 134.5 pence ($2.75) on the London Stock Exchange.

Baugur has led a charge of Icelandic companies seeking acquisitions across Europe. Its purchases in Britain include iconic toy store Hamley's, tea and coffee merchant Whittard of Chelsea, fashion chains Oasis and Coast and jeweler Goldsmiths.

Its comment Monday came in response to recent press reports suggesting that it would make an offer for Debenhams. Last year British department store House of Fraser, which competes with Debenhams, accepted a takeover bid by a Baugur-led group.