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Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in talks to acquire House of Fraser

RBR Staff Writer Published 01 April 2014

British department store chain House of Fraser, which is battling to restore profitability, could be taken over by the Nanjing-based conglomerate Sanpower in a £450m-plus deal.

House of fraser

Established in Glasgow, Scotland in 1849, House of Fraser offers clothing, cosmetics and houseware products. It presently has 61 stores in Britain and Ireland and had annual sales of about£1.2bn.

The high street chain and Chinese conglomerate Sanpower are in advanced discussions, although there is no certainty of arriving at a definite deal, as reported in Reuters citing a source which first spoke to British newspaper The Sunday Times.

House of Fraser has been looking for potential buyers for quite some time while also considering a possible initial public share offer.

Talks about a sale to French counterpart Galeries Lafayette ended in January.

Sanpower is run by tycoon Yuan Yafei, who has interests in finance, property, media, transport and IT, with assets worth nearly £5bn.

The company is planning to inject £70m to £80m into House of Fraser in order to finance a wide-ranging store revamp and website improvements. The business is also planning to take the department store into China by opening new stores or changing some existing sites to the House of Fraser name.

Image: House of Fraser in Belfast.Photo: Courtesy of Ardfern.