House of Fraser to appoint administrators after investment talks fail

House Of Fraser to shut stores across the country

Image More than 17,500 jobs on the line as House Of Fraser seeks rescue deal

But its survival hopes were dealt a blow last week when C.banner, the Hong Kong-listed owner of Hamleys, dropped plans for a fundraising that would have allowed it to buy a 51 per cent stake in House of Fraser's parent group for £70million and invest a similar amount in the business.

The retailer, which has appointed Ernst & Young as administrator, said: "Significant progress has been made towards completing a sale of the group's business and assets".

Potential bidders include Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and restructuring expert Alteri.

House of Fraser employs 17,500 people - 6,000 directly and 11,500 concession staff.

House of Fraser has a store in the Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast city centre.

The announcement came just two hours after the formal court hearing to put House of Fraser into administration.

House of Fraser assured that its offices and stores will continue trading as normal while they look to reach a deal.

A notice in the Lincoln store window advised the store would open later at 11am on Friday, August 10.

At that time chief executive Alex Williamson said: "We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded".

"An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength".

Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: "This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan".

The chain said discussions between interested investors and its main creditors did not conclude in a "solvent solution" and it has no choice but to appoint administrators.

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