Business as usual for Rushden Lakes store as House of Fraser calls in administrators
House of Fraser at Rushden Lakes will be open as normal today (Friday) despite the company calling in the administrators.
The department store announced plans to close more than half of its shops back in June, although the Rushden Lakes store was not one of those identified for closure.
However, the chain announced earlier today that it was calling in the administrators in a further bid to try and save the company.
Since then, it has been revealed that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has struck a deal to rescue House of Fraser out of administration for £90 million, raising hopes for the future of thousands of staff.
To read more about the buy-out, click here
A statement released on behalf of House of Fraser before the deal was struck said: “House of Fraser announces that its discussions with interested investors and its main secured creditors have not concluded in a solvent solution.
“The directors of the group’s operating companies, House of Fraser (Stores) Limited, House of Fraser Limited and James Beattie Limited (the “Operating Companies”), have therefore resolved to seek the appointment of administrators.
“Court hearings are expected to take place at 7.30 am today, at which orders will be sought appointing individuals from Ernst & Young LLP as administrators of each of the operating companies with immediate effect.
“Significant progress has been made towards completing a sale of the group’s business and assets.
“The proposed administrators are expected to continue to progress those discussions with a view to concluding a transaction shortly after their appointment.
“The proposed administrators have confirmed that the business will continue trading, including all stores and offices, while they seek to complete a sale.
“All stores will be open for business as usual today.”
Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: “We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.
“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.”
Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan.
“Despite the very recent termination of the transaction between Cenbest and C.Banner, I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future.”
House of Fraser opened at Rushden Lakes nearly a year ago on August 24.
It was House of Fraser’s first store at an out-of-town retail and leisure complex and its first store to open in nearly nine years,
Another first was that it was the retailer’s first sustainable and green store.
The Rushden Lakes store boasts more than 50 premium and high street brands, as well as champagne bar Eden with views overlooking the lake and Caffe Nero on the ground floor.