Sports Direct strikes £90m rescue deal for House of Fraser

Annette Crawford
August 10, 2018

House of Fraser in The Oracle.

The intervention follows an announcement by House of Fraser that it had been forced to appoint administrators after talks with potential investors collapsed.

House of Fraser said administrators Ernst & Young had confirmed that the business would continue trading, including all stores and offices, while they attempted to complete a sale.

House of Fraser has gone into administration and been rescued at a knock-down price by the Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley.

"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".

The group employs more than 5,900 staff while a further 10,100 people are employed in the various concessions within the House of Fraser stores.

The retailer said "significant progress has been made" in reaching a sale of the group's business and assets.

Today, all of the existing 59 stores will remain open, including the 31 previously earmarked for closure - one of which is the flagship store on London's Oxford Street.


House of Fraser chief executive Alex Williamson had this morning spoken of his confidence that the company's future would be secured in short order, saying "an acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength".

It is understood that Mr Day's proposal was in excess of £100 million, would have avoided an administration and included House of Fraser's pension scheme.

But its survival hopes were dealt a blow last week when C.banner, the Hong Kong-listed owner of Hamleys, dropped plans for a fundraising that would have allowed it to buy a 51 per cent stake in House of Fraser's parent group for £70million and invest a similar amount in the business.

"Pursuant to the transaction, the group has acquired all of the United Kingdom stores of House of Fraser, the House of Fraser brand and all of the stock in the business".

But it had the benefit of giving those workers six months to try and find new jobs.

Its fate was sealed earlier this month, when Chinese firm C.banner pulled out of a rescue deal.

Yet many of House of Fraser's creditors objected to the plan.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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