Embattled department store House of Fraser is to appoint administrators, after talks with investors failed to reach a deal to save the business.
More from: House of Fraser enters administration
In a statement, the business said that rescue talks with investors and creditors had “not concluded in a solvent solution”.
House of Fraser said administrator EY confirmed the business would continue trading while it attempted to complete a sale.
Despite the administration, all 59 shops are set to open today, including the 31 earmarked to close as part of the earlier company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deal. House of Fraser employs 17,500 people.
Earlier this month Chinese retail group C Banner called off its plans to invest £70m in House of Fraser.
Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: “We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded. An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.
“In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the Group’s financial advissrs have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third-party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace.”
Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan. Despite the very recent termination of the transaction between Cenbest and C Banner, I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future.”