Reading House of Fraser could be saved after £90m Sports Direct buyout

The troubled department store needs new funding by no later than next week

The troubled department store needs new funding by no later than next week

The takeover by Sports Direct is a relief to staff at the chain's Kent stores, which were briefly put at risk having been due to be spared the axe under its previous rescue plans.

The deal is reportedly for £90million.

In the same breath, he said: "My ambition is to transform House of Fraser into the Harrods of the high street".

The intervention follows an announcement by House of Fraser that it had been forced to appoint administrators after talks with potential investors collapsed.

Following the deal, Mike Ashley said: "This is a massive step forward and further enhances our strategy of elevation across the Group. Retailers that provide the right experience and service are really adapting the way that people shop, and as a result, are changing the requirement for the bricks and mortar store so it would be interesting to understand Sports Directs' take on this and whether they really relish the challenge and are able to adapt House of Fraser's customer experience through online, physical and social sales, in order to keep apace and meet the consumers requirements of today perhaps utilising in part the Flannels facia".

"All stores will be open for business as usual today".

In administration, Ashley will be able to choose which parts of House of Fraser he wants and those parts he does not. This precipitated a three-way tussle between retail billionaires Ashley and Philip Day as well as a proposal by Alteri Investors, with Ashley ultimately emerging on top.

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However, accountancy giant EY, which was overseeing the process, opted for Mr Ashley's offer. The advantages brought by the warehouses and logistics already managed by this group will be an important key in the recovery of the House of Fraser's fortunes. "Our deal was conservative, consistent and simple".

This left the department store chain without any options but to enter administration and hope for a buyer.

The deal will see the Newcastle United owner tighten his grip over the British high street, adding to his sports retailing and "premium fashion" empire.

The billionaire has held an 11% stake in the business since 2014 and also owns nearly 30% of Debenhams, its main rival.

House of Fraser was plunged into crisis last week after C.banner, the Chinese owner of Hamleys, pulled its investment in the troubled retail chain.

The company saw its business rates bills rise £3.99 million to £30.24 million this year following a Government revaluation, according to research group Altus. "The stores are failing to attract sustainable levels of footfall while battling against rising operating costs and shifts in shopper behaviour".

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