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House of Fraser bought by Sports Direct for £90m

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has agreed to buy the House of Fraser department store chain for £90m.

Earlier on Friday, House of Fraser went into administration after talks between the retailer and its creditors failed to reach an agreement.

Its 59 shops were expected to open on Friday, including the 31 that had already been marked for closure.

House of Fraser – which began trading 169 years ago – employs 17,500 people, including 11,500 concession staff.

Sports Direct said in a statement: “The group has acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the House of Fraser brand and all of the stock in the business.”

Mike Ashley already held an 11% stake in the department store chain.

Mr Ashley’s plans for the stores chain are not clear, but could include rebranding some stores as Sports Direct.

Previously he had said he wanted to turn the sporting goods fashion chain, which he founded in 1982, into “the Selfridges of sport”.

As well as 750 Sports Direct stores, Mr Ashley has investments in Debenhams and French Connection and owns the clothing chain Flannels.

Earlier on Friday, House of Fraser had gone into administration after rescue talks had “not concluded in a solvent solution”.

Other contenders to take over the store chain included Mike Ashley’s retail rival Philip Day, who owns the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain, Jaeger and Austin Reed.

Earlier this month, Chinese firm C.banner pulled out of a rescue deal.

Before that, House of Fraser had agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors, under which would have closed 31 stores, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.

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BBC News – Business

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