UK department stores group Debenhams Plc is to buy Danish retailer Magasin du Nord for DKK101m (US$20.3m) in a deal that will help build its presence in mainland Europe.

Magasin is the leading department store chain in Denmark, with six stores, around 20m customers and an annual turnover of DKK1,885m in the financial year to 28 February 2009. 

"The success of our international business demonstrates that there is demand for our own bought and Designer brands outside our home market which we believe will complement Magasin's existing brands and deliver both outstanding value and choice to the Danish consumer," said Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman.

Debenhams currently operates a total of 145 department stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and 12 Desire by Debenhams stores, which sell a mix of women's wear, health and beauty, accessories, lingerie and children's wear.

Internationally, it has 52 franchise stores in 17 countries and also offers much of its range online.

The company today (12 November) said the "close fit" between the two businesses will be "mutually beneficial."

"As part of the Debenhams group, Magasin will be able to benefit from the Debenhams infrastructure and economies of scale," Templeman added.

"As we realise the synergies that will be available to both companies, we anticipate that this acquisition will be highly accretive for Debenhams shareholders."

Last month the retailer said the success of its own bought fashion ranges - including the Designers at Debenhams line-up which includes Ted Baker, Jasper Conran, Betty Jackson, John Rocha and Matthew Williamson - as helped lift full-year pre-tax profit by 14.1% to GBP120.8m.