Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2018

House of Fraser goes into administration as website goes OFFLINE – MORE store closures | City & Business | Finance


The jobs under threat include those working on brand concession stands within the department store and those that work directly for the retailer.

The department store chain said talks between interested investors and its main creditors did not result in a “solvent solution” and had no choice but to appoint administrators. 

But House of Fraser said parts of its business could still be rescued, most likely through a pre-pack administration, where a new buyer cherry picks the most valuable assets.

It said “significant progress has been made” in reaching a sale of the group’s business and assets. 

EY is expected to be appointed as administrators today and will likely continue discussions in the hope of reaching a deal “shortly after their appointment”. 

Would-be-suitors include Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley and Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woolen Mill.

The department store chain insisted its offices and stores will continue to trade as normal while attempts to rescue the business continue. 

House of Fraser chief executive Alex Williamson said: “We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.

“In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C.Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the group’s financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace.”

ouse of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin added: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan.

“Despite the very recent termination of the transaction between Cenbest and C.Banner, I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future.”

On Thursday, House of Fraser, which began trading in 1849, admitted it needed to secure new funding within the next few weeks in order to survive and keep the business afloat amid high rents and stock purchases. 

The struggling department store chain is in dire need of fresh finance to help it pay its quarterly rent bill, which is due in September, as well as fund the purchase of stock. 

Sources had told the Guardian the department store was looking at a squeeze in finance that could result in the giant falling into administration. 

It will have to pay suppliers £15m ahead of monthly rent bills, which are due by the August 20.

If House of Fraser did collapse, it would amount to the biggest high street failure since Woolworths went under with the loss of 30,000 jobs a decade ago. 

In June, the retailer was given approval by creditors to close 31 stores (listed below), including its flagship store on Oxford Street in London, resulting in a total of 6,000 job losses. 

The department store chain had warned it did “not have a viable future” unless creditors and landlords backed its proposals. 

House of Fraser became the latest high street giant to seek a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) in an attempt to avoid becoming a casualty of the crisis that is engulfing retailers.  

If House of Fraser did collapse, it would amount to the biggest high street failure since Woolworths went under with the loss of 30,000 jobs a decade ago. 

In June, the retailer was given approval by creditors to close 31 stores (listed below), including its flagship store on Oxford Street in London, resulting in a total of 6,000 job losses. 

The department store chain had warned it did “not have a viable future” unless creditors and landlords backed its proposals. 

House of Fraser became the latest high street giant to seek a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) in an attempt to avoid becoming a casualty of the crisis that is engulfing retailers.



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House of Fraser goes into administration as website goes OFFLINE – MORE store closures | City & Business | Finance