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Exclusive: Philip Day in talks to take over HoF stores

The owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, Philip Day, is in talks with a group of landlords to take over several House of Fraser stores, Drapers understands.

It is believed that Day is talking to a group of 10 to 15 landlords about taking over several stores with a view to running them under the Days Department Store fascia.

As HoF went into administration last week, the leases and rents on the buildings are currently up for negotiation and any pre-existing agreement no longer stands.

On Monday HoF’s new owner Sports Direct appointed property agency CBRE to start talks with HoF landlords.

It is understood that EWM Group has offered to pay higher rents than are currently paid by HoF and has offered to buy the stores directly from landlords.

As previously reported by Drapers, Day was leading a consortium of suppliers in a rival bid to buy HoF out of administration for £100m and would take on responsibility for the pension scheme. However, a source close to the situation told Drapers Day was “frozen out by administrators”, and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct bought HoF.

EWM Group declined to comment.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Where is all this/his money coming from?

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  • Why did EY not take Day's higher bid?Day has also said that if he had taken over HOF he would have honoured the payments to suppliers. Not sure why EY would go for Ashley and a lower bid? Any explanation anyone?

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  • Existing shareholder? Easier access to immediate funds?

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  • It could be that his initial offer pre-administration was £50m including taking on all liabilities which the secured creditors i.e. the banks didn't feel was enough. The secured creditors subsequently got £90m from Sports Direct in the administration while the unsecured creditors got screwed.

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  • Day’s funding wasn’t immediately available, it needed to be raised; whereas SD’s was.

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