Sports Direct acquires House of Fraser for £90m

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The department store chain, which has stores in Shrewsbury and Telford, went into administration this morning and is understood to have been bought as part of a so- called "pre-pack" deal.

Now thousands of jobs remain under threat at House of Fraser, after the chain of department stores was forced to file for administration.

House of Fraser, which employs 17,500 people and has 59 stores across the country, previously announced it had entered administration after talks between investors and creditors broke down.

"The directors of the group's operating companies, House of Fraser (Stores) Limited, House of Fraser Limited and James Beattie Limited (the "Operating Companies"), have therefore resolved to seek the appointment of administrators".


Notices placed on the doors of the Belfast department store said it would open later than usual at 11am on Friday after the chain entered administration.

Thousands of anxious shopworkers at House of Fraser stores and its concessions are now waiting to discover their fate.

In an announcement on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange earlier this morning, where its bonds are listed, House of Fraser had said "discussions with interested investors and its main secured creditors have not concluded in a solvent solution".

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


Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: "This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan". It's hoped that the rescue deal will save a significant number of jobs.

It is unclear what Mr Ashley's plans are for the chain - but the move could in theory offer a reprieve for staff and customers.

The CVA, which as well as 31 store closures included rent reductions at 10 further locations, was agreed in June, but was subsequently challenged by a cohort of landlords - although this challenge was soon settled by HoF, the dispute was cited by C.banner as a reason for backing away, with the group cancelling a share placing that might have funded the deal.

House of Fraser was plunged into crisis last week after C.banner, the Chinese owner of Hamleys, pulled its investment into the troubled retail chain. "The demise of House of Fraser in many ways has been the result of poor leadership, paralysis in innovation and crippling levels of debt", Mr Lim added.


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