| LONDON, March 30
LONDON, March 30 Chinese business tycoon Yuan
Yafei is in talks with British department store group House of
Fraser regarding a bid that values the company at
more than 450 million pounds ($749 million), according to a
source familiar with the situation.
The proposed takeover, first reported by British newspaper
The Sunday Times, was tabled by Sanpower, the
Nanjing-based conglomerate founded by Yuan.
The source said that although the talks were advanced there
was no certainty a deal would be done.
The 160-year-old House of Fraser, which trades from 61
stores in Britain and Ireland and has annual sales of about 1.2
billion pounds ($2 billion), has been running a dual track sale
process - looking for potential buyers while also considering a
possible initial public share offer.
Talks about a sale to French counterpart Galeries Lafayette
ended in January.
House of Fraser declined to comment. Reuters was not
immediately able to contact Yafei for comment.
House of Fraser has a complicated ownership structure, with
49 percent of the holding company Highland Group Holdings owned
by the representatives of failed Icelandic banks Landesbanki and
Chairman Don McCarthy owns 20 percent, retail entrepreneurs
Tom Hunter and Kevin Stanford own 11 percent and 9 percent
respectively, Lloyds Banking Group has 5 percent and
other management 6 percent.
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)