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Sports Direct has ridden to the rescue of House of Fraser after owner Mike Ashley stepped in with a £90m deal which will take the ailing department store chain out of administration.

 

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

Sports Direct now owns all House of Fraser assets including its brand, stores and stock. The House of Fraser staff will also transfer to the Sports Direct payroll, just months after it launched legal action against the chain citing 'unfair prejudice'.

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.

"In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C.Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the group's financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace."

Sports Direct itself hasn’t been immune from wider malaise in the retail sector after weathering a 20% plunge in profits.