House of Fraser set to fall into administration

Ruben Hill
August 10, 2018

The would-be rescuers were told to submit their "best and final offers" yesterday to PwC, which is advising House of Fraser's lenders and bondholders.

"In addition, it will be interesting to see how Sport's Direct's multichannel experience could help to turn around House of Fraser's department stores' ill-fate".

A statement issued to the London Stock Exchange this morning said: "Sports Direct International announces the acquisition of the business and assets of House of Fraser from the administrators of House of Fraser Ltd, House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd and James Beattie Ltd, the House of Fraser group's main operating companies, for a cash consideration of £90m".

The move means the company will takeover all the stores, including the one in The Oracle in Reading, Berkshire.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has reportedly agreed to pay £90million for the chain - which includes an Aylesbury Friars Square Shopping Centre store which was already scheduled for closure.

"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".

"Significant progress has been made towards completing a sale of the group's business and assets".

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.

In a massive blow to its 17500 staff, House of Fraser is to appoint administrators after negotiations with its investors and creditors failed to conclude in a "solvent solution", according to reports.

Potentially nodding to Mike Ashley's rumoured interest, House of Fraser chief executive Alex Williamson had said: "We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded".

Why did House of Fraser enter administration?

House of Fraser was plunged into crisis last week after C.banner, the Chinese owner of Hamleys, pulled its investment in the troubled retail chain.

However, doubt remains over the long-term future of jobs and whether Mr Ashley will shut underperforming stores as part of a restructuring programme. It is understood that House of Fraser is up to date with payments to suppliers, but may need to find about £15million ahead of monthly rent bills due before the end of August.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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