Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Updated: HoF in talks with Hamleys owner on stake sale

House of Fraser’s Chinese owner Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co has signed a memorandum of understanding with the owner of toy retailer Hamleys, C Banner International Holdings, on the potential sale of a 51% stake in the department store chain.

A memorandum of understanding is a non-binding agreement between two or more parties, and is often viewed as the first stage in the process of drawing up a formal contract.

In the meantime, Nanjing Xinjiekou – which owns 89% of HoF – continues to discuss the sale of the same 51% stake to tourism development firm Wuji Wenhua, Shanghai stock exchange filings show.

In a note to suppliers, seen by Drapers, House of Fraser CEO Alex Williamson said: “Owing to the strict exchange rules around the proposed transaction, I can’t comment on the potential deal, but will of course keep you informed of the progress as soon as I can.  

“Safe to say our focus is on business as usual.”

As well as running Hamleys, C Banner is one of the leading retailers of mid-to-premium women’s formal and casual footwear in China. The group manages self-developed brands, namely C Banner, Eblan, Sundance, Mio, Badgley Mischka and Natursun, and it distributes United Nude brand products. The group also sells Steve Madden shoes in China through a joint venture.

Chinese conglomerate C Banner is a strategic partner of Sanpower Group, which operates Nanjing Xinjiekou as a subsidiary. C Banner is run by Sanpower chairman Yuan Yafei’s brother-in-law, Chen Yixi. HoF chairman Frank Slevin is chairman of the board at Hamleys of London.

In 2016, C Banner issued a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange outlining an alliance with Sanpower Group that “may eventually lead to an acquisition” of a stake in HoF.

Nanjing Xinjiekou plans to retain a 38% stake. The remaining 11% is owned by Mike Ashley.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hamleys is Sanpower family. Brother in Law. Not even a sticking plaster.

    Playing with peoples careers and money.


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.