Dublin's House of Fraser store not part of Sports Direct deal

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However, the deal does not include House of Fraser's only Dublin outlet in Dundrum.

It added: "For the year ended 28 January 2017 (the last date to which statutory accounts are available for the parent company of the operating companies and prior to the appointment of the administrators), the House of Fraser group had gross assets of £946.3m and made £14.7m net profit".

Under Mr Ashley's stewardship, Sports Direct has accumulated stakes - often through complex financial instruments - in a number of British high street chains, including Debenhams and French Connection.

This morning's announcement confirms that Sports Direct has acquired all of the United Kingdom stores of House of Fraser, the House of Fraser brand and all of the stock in the business.

This nearly certainly will leave at least part of the pension fund in the hands of the Pension Protection Fund as well as the continued prospect of job losses but helps to keep the doors open at some House of Fraser locations including the iconic former Kendal's site on Deansgate, Manchester.

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

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has always been rumoured to have been interested in buying the department store giant - as well as Philip Day, chief executive of Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

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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"The proposed administrators have confirmed that the business will continue trading, including all stores and offices, while they seek to complete a sale".

Earlier, a sign on the window of the store in the Victoria Square shopping centre said the shop would not open until 11:00 BST on Friday.

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".

"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".

Trade union Mandate has expressed serious concern about the store and said that it is seeking information from the retailer.

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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