August 2, 2018 / 9:32 AM / 20 days ago

Billionaire Philip Day exploring bid for House of Fraser: Sky News

(Reuters) - Billionaire Philip Day is in the early stages of a potential bid for British retailer House of Fraser to save it from collapse, Sky News reported on Thursday citing sources.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a House of Fraser store in central London, Britain January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

The news comes a day after a rescue deal for House of Fraser was thrown into doubt after C.banner (1028.HK) canceled planned fundraising for its deal to become a majority shareholder in the department store.

Day could yet decide not to table a formal proposal to acquire House of Fraser depending upon due diligence and discussions with the company, Sky News said citing one source.

A spokesman for House of Fraser declined to comment on the report and reiterated Wednesday’s statement that talks about other possible sources of investment were ongoing and an update would be given when appropriate.

A spokesman for Day also declined to comment.

House of Fraser had agreed to close stores as part of the rescue deal, and in June creditors approved a restructuring plan which would see 31 of its 59 stores close early next year, leading to the loss of 6,000 jobs.

A string of UK retailers have either gone out of business or announced plans to close shops in recent months as they struggle with subdued consumer spending, rising labor costs and higher business property taxes as well as growing online competition.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru and Alistair Smout in London; editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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