French chain in talks to buy House of Fraser

House of Fraser. Picture: Neil Hanna

House of Fraser. Picture: Neil Hanna

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A FRENCH department chain is reportedly locked in talks to buy British retail giant House of Fraser in a deal that could be worth up to £450 million.

Galeries Layfayette is believed to be holding exclusive negotiations with the firm until the end of next month.

House of Fraser – which owns Jenners and has another store at the West End of Princes Street – is also preparing for flotation on the London Stock Exchange early next year.

The company was founded by Hugh Fraser and James Arthur in 1849 when they opened a small drapery shop on the corner of Glasgow’s Buchananan Street and Argyle Street.

Though it remains its flagship store, the department store now has 61 stores across the UK and Ireland and employs 7300 people and 12,000 concession staff.

The retailer – which generates annual sales of £1.2 billion a year – is looking for a price tag thought to be in the region of £450m.