Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has bought British department store chain House of Fraser, just hours after the 169 year old chain filed for bankruptcy.
6000 jobs under threat
Ashley has acquired all of House of Fraser's British department stores for 90 million pound: only the store in Dublin would not be part of the deal, the BBC reports. The controversial businessman has wanted to acquire a more premium chain to add to his portfolio for a while now and already owned 11 % of the House of Fraser chains, but despite his interest the chain still had to file for bankruptcy. However, a few hours later Ashley did buy the house from curator EY.
So far, it is unknown what Ashley plans to do with his new chain: the future of the 17,500 employees is still unknown. Before the bankruptcy there were plans to close 31 out of 59 stores and to cut 6000 jobs, and unions fear that even those who would be able to stay, would suffer as much as their colleagues at Sports Direct are already. However, something needed to be done at House of Fraser: the chain had lost most of its appeal after 169 years in the British high streets and suffered a loss of 44 million pound (50 million euro) last year.