House of Fraser sale on the cards

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 | BUSINESS SALE

The owner of the House of Fraser department store group, Don McCarthy, is understood to have put the company up for sale.

The entrepreneur did not comment on the sale, but did say that the interests of the shareholders will be well looked after regardless of who the buyer ends up being.

A sale would require the support of a majority of House of Fraser's backers. The Guardian contacted two significant backers based in the UK, who both indicated that they supported McCarthy's efforts.

So far Sports Direct and its owner Mike Ashley is thought to be among the interested buyers, although Mr Ashley played down the prospective purchase when announcing an increase in sales and profits for Sports Direct in the first half of the year.

There is further industry speculation that Debenhams might also show an interest due to the fact that there have been previous merger discussions between the pair.

Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group has also been rumoured to have shown an interest, following the company's surprise move earlier this week in selling a 25 per cent interest to US private equity house, Leonard Green & Partners, which was seen as a signal that the company is preparing for a major acquisition.


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