Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has bought House of Fraser for £90m. The billionaire, who also owns Newcastle Utd Football Club, struck the deal after the department store entered administration on Friday morning.
In a stock market announcement, Sports Direct said it had acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the brand and all of the stock in the business.
- The latest statement from Mike Ashley:
The news will raise the hopes for 17,000 staff who have been informed that they will be transferred over from House of Fraser to Sports Direct.
The tycoon beat off competition from a rival bid, which was in excess of £100m by retail rival Philip Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill. That deal would have involved the department store avoiding administration and included the House of Fraser pension scheme.
However, accountancy giant EY, which was overseeing the process, opted for Mr Ashley's offer.
Sources said that Mr Ashley will now begin the process of turning some House of Fraser stores into Sports Direct outlets and rebrand others under the Flannels fascia.
Prior to its collapse, Mr Ashley had held an 11% stake in the department store chain.