Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

House of Fraser bought by Sports Direct

House of Fraser bought by Sports Direct

Sports Direct International has agreed a deal to acquire all of the United Kingdom stores of House of Fraser, the department store chain's brand and all of the stock in the business.

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.

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 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".

"All stores will be open for business as usual today". This nearly certainly will leave at least part of the pension fund in the hands of the Pension Protection Fund as well as the continued prospect of job losses but helps to keep the doors open at some House of Fraser locations including the iconic former Kendal's site on Deansgate, Manchester.

At the time the department store chain said discussions between interested investors and its main creditors had not concluded in a "solvent solution" and it had no choice but to appoint administrators.

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"An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength".

Back in June House of Fraser announced that 31 stores would be closing, impacting around 6,000 jobs.

Paul Souber, Co-Head of Colliers International's Retail division, which monitors the industry, said: "With the latest news that Mike Ashley has just purchased House of Fraser today, on the one hand, this could be viewed as positive news for high streets nationwide as despite the doom and gloom sentiment surrounding the sector at present, this is really a boost in confidence for both landlords and retailers as well as employees in the trade, who were due to potentially lose their jobs".

Sources said that Mr Ashley will now begin the process of turning some House of Fraser stores into Sports Direct outlets and rebrand others under the Flannels fascia.

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.

While the department store entered rescue talks with a number of different companies, these have continued to break down over the past few months.

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