Philip Day mooted for House of Fraser takeover bid

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The company had pledged to pump fresh capital into House of Fraser after taking control from Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store, a subsidiary of conglomerate Sanpower Group.

The department store chain is now said to be "exploring options to obtain the required investment on the same timetable".

The agreement, part of the retailer's restructuring plan, included the closure of several underperforming stores, reducing the company's commercial network from 59 to 28 stores and putting 6,000 jobs in jeopardy.

HoF, which is now owned by China's Sanpower Group, had been waiting on a £70m investment from C.banner, which would have given it a 51% stake in the ailing department store.

The company's store closure programme, which involves 30 branches across the United Kingdom including the flagship store in Oxford Street, has been thrown off course by a legal challenge from landlords who claimed they had been unfairly prejudiced by the process.

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Earlier this week it was announced that Sports Direct and Heatons owner Mike Ashley had approached the chain with an investment offer.

"Discussions are ongoing and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate". The company now employs 17,500 people - 6,000 direct and 11,500 concession staff. However, House of Fraser's stock plummeting more than 70 percent over the past months didn't help the retailer's case. House of Fraser is now urgently seeking a £50m investment in order to avoid collapse.

However, a legal challenge has raised the prospect the rescue bid may fail, with the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) plans being challenged by House of Fraser's landlords.

Nick Bubb, an independent retail analyst, said: "It's not obvious why businessmen like Mike Ashley will prop it up when they can get it for practically nothing if and when the business goes into administration".

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