House of Fraser bought by Sports Direct for £90m

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 10, 2018

Struggling department store chain House of Fraser has set a deadline of 20 August to secure fresh funding.

"Significant progress has been made towards completing a sale of the group's business and assets", House of Fraser said in a statement to investors.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, who already owns an 11% stake in House of Fraser, also approached the chain in July over a potential investment deal.

The company said its proposed administrator, Ernst & Young, planned to keep the business trading while it attempts to arrange a sale.

House of Fraser has a store in the Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast city centre.

Half its stores, including Beatties in Wolverhampton, Rackhams in Birmingham and those in Telford and Shrewsbury face closure under a previous rescue plan but not until after Christmas.

A notice in the Lincoln store window advised the store would open later at 11am on Friday, August 10.

The Chinese-owned department store group set out the race against time in a statement to the Luxembourg stock exchange, where its bonds are listed.

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded".

"In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C.Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the group's financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace".

Chairman Frank Slevin said: "This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan".

The chain said discussions between interested investors and its main creditors did not conclude in a "solvent solution" and it has no choice but to appoint administrators.

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