House of Fraser in new talks with investors as rescue deal collapses

By Lucy Tandon Copp 2-Aug-2018

The British department store retailer will no longer be taken over by Chinese firm C.banner

Uncertainty continues to shroud the future of House of Fraser, after potential new owner C.banner pulled out from the rescue deal today.

The Chinese firm and Hamley's-owner released an update stating that it no longer plans to proceed with the £70m cash deal, previously announced on 16 May.

House of Fraser confirmed with Cosmetics Business that it "is in discussions with alternative investors" and is "exploring options to obtain the required investment on the same timetable".

C.banner said that the deal had become "impracticable and inadvisable" after recent market prices of the shares as quoted on the Stock Exchange had significantly dropped to a level far below the placing price range of HK$2.40 to HK$3.00 per placing share.

On 2 May, C.banner announced it had entered into a conditional agreement to acquire a 51% stake in House of Fraser Group, currently owned by Nanjing Cenbest.

The House of Fraser stores to close:

House of Fraser's Bristol store is said to be safe from closure / Getty Images

Altrincham – Aylesbury – Birkenhead – Birmingham – Bournemouth – Camberley – Cardiff – Carlisle – Chichester – Cirencester – Cwmbran – Darlington – Doncaster – Edinburgh – Epsom – Grimsby – High Wycombe – Hull – Leamington –Lincoln – London (City) – London (Oxford Street, flagship store) – Middlesbrough – Milton Keynes – Plymouth – Shrewsbury – Skipton – Swindon – Telford – Wolverhampton – Worcester

In June, House of Fraser announced plans to close more than half of its British stores in an effort to tackle the tough retail climate.

It earmarked 31 of its 59 stores for closure, which would reportedly impact 6,000 jobs.

Among those scheduled for a shut down is its London flagship on Oxford Street.

At the time, the retailer said that without the scale-back “House of Fraser does not believe it has a viable future”.

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Today the group has annual sales of £1.2bn, employs approximately 5,000 employees and 12,500 concession colleagues.

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