What does Sports Direct takeover mean for Aylesbury's House of Fraser store?

What does Sports Direct takeover mean for Aylesbury's House of Fraser store?

A woman leaves a House of Fraser store in Bristol, Britain, August 10, 2018.

By allowing the store chain to go into administration for a few hours before getting out his chequebook, Mr Ashley appears to get the assets shorn of tiresome liabilities like pension promises, lease commitments and exposures to other creditors.

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

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Sports Direct said it had acquired all of the United Kingdom stores, brand and stock of House of Fraser.

Some 17,000 staff are being informed that they will be transferred over from House of Fraser to Sports Direct.

He added: "Retailers that provide the right experience and service are really adapting the way that people shop, and as a result, are changing the requirement for the bricks and mortar store so it would be interesting to understand Sports Directs' take on this".

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".

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A spokesperson for House of Fraser said this was "only a temporary situation and will be resolved".

EY, which is expected to be appointed administrators today, is expected to continue those discussions in hopes of reaching a deal "shortly after their appointment".

This precipitated a three-way tussle between retail billionaires Ashley and Philip Day as well as a proposal by Alteri Investors, with Ashley ultimately emerging on top.

Alan Hudson of EY, joint administrator, said: "We have worked very closely with management, its advisors and creditors in recent weeks and are pleased that we have been able to successfully conclude a sale of the business in short timescales which preserves as numerous jobs of House of Frasers employees as possible".

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".

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.

Mr Ashley was one of at least four parties squaring off to rescue House of Fraser after China's C.banner International Holdings Ltd shelved plans to buy a majority stake.

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