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Galeries Lafayette in talks to buy House of Fraser

French department store group Galeries Lafayette is in advanced talks to buy House of Fraser.

The British department store chain, which is preparing to float early next year, is reported to be in exclusive talks with the family–controlled Galeries Lafayette. The Financial Times reports that Galeries Lafayette will retain exclusivity until the end of January.

Last month it was revealed HoF had appointed investment bank Rothschild to advise on its impending IPO. It is thought that the chain will hold a dual process while the talks continue.

The retailer has previously held talks with Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley over buying a stake in the business, as well as additional talks with Qatari investors.

Earlier this month House of Fraser revealed its third quarter like-for-like sales had edged up 0.8% on last year, with online sales driving much of the department store’s growth.

For the 13 weeks to October 26, gross profit margin rose 180 basis points to 36.8%. Adjusted EBITDA rose to £1.7m from £1.6m last year. Year-to-date EBITDA has grown marginally to £9.2m, up from £9.1m at the half year point.

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