House of Frazer bought by Mike Ashley

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Mr Lim at Retail Economics said it's likely that Mr Ashley will rebrand some House of Fraser sites as Sports Direct.

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

The would-be rescuers were told to submit their "best and final offers" yesterday to PwC, which is advising House of Fraser's lenders and bondholders.

No announcement has been made as to what Sports Direct intends to do with an estate in which 31 locations have been earmarked for closure over the next six months, including stores in Altrincham, Birkenhead and Carlisle.

That involved closing a number of underperforming stores.

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The company went into administration several times over the years, but it saw its final day on 29 May 2010 having been hit by the recession and been unable to compete with rival brands.

It is understood that Mr Day's proposal was in excess of £100m, would have avoided an administration and included House of Fraser's pension scheme.

The deal expands Mr Ashley's retail empire, which also includes a stake in Debenhams. "Our deal was conservative, consistent and simple".

"It's a good thing.They'll not be closing Belfast that's for sure", he said emphatically predicting that the the new owner would broadly follow the plans drawn before Chinese investor C. banner pulled out.

Department store giant and high street staple House of Fraser has been rescued hours after it announced its intention to call in administrators.

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It is unclear what the status of the CVA is following the takeover. As we are all well aware, retailers and landlords are facing the most challenging environment since the post global financial crisis of 2008, driven by changing consumer trends, higher inflation, lower consumer spend and changing shopping habits.

Richard Lim, chief executive of economics research consultancy Retail Economics, notes the acquisition is a "hugely ambitious move" for Sports Direct.

Now, the government has indicated that it could bow to mounting pressure to reform the punitive business rates system after the tax was named among factors which contributed to House of Fraser's downfall. "Turning around the business will not come easy".

The advent of the internet has had an adverse influence on traditional brick and mortar stores, with digital retailers like Amazon dealing a body blow from which very few stores have recovered.

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