Turnaround specialist Alteri Investors is reported to have held talks with House of Fraser after the department store’s £70m funding from Chinese firm C Banner has been ruled out.
Sky News reports that Alteri is among a small number of investors that could provide a lifeline for the department store, alongside Sports Direct. However it says HoF does not see Alteri as the current frontrunner by HoF, citing sources close to the situation.
Alteri was reported to have been in talks with the department store chain about refinancing earlier this year.
Alteri bought Jones Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK for €17m (£12.2m) from now bankrupt Dutch firm Macintosh in October 2015.
In January 2016 Brantano fell into administration. A month later Alteri bought the majority of Brantano out of administration for £7m, saving 81 stores, 59 concessions and 1,372 jobs. The sale excluded 57 stores and one concession.
Yesterday HoF confirmed that Cinese retail group C Banner has called off its plans to invest £70m in the department store.
In a joint statement, C Banner and House of Fraser confirmed that the Chinese owner of Hamleys is “no longer intending to proceed with the placing as announced on 16 May”.
House of Fraser said: “In light of C Banner’s announcement (and as per House of Fraser’s previous statement to the Luxembourg Exchange) House of Fraser is in discussions with alternative investors and is exploring options to obtain the required investment on the same timetable.
”Discussions are ongoing and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”
C Banner said its plans to raise funds to invest in HoF had been “rendered impracticable and inadvisable” after its own share price plummeted.