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Billionaire Mike Ashley today bought House of Fraser for £90million - 82 minutes after it plunged into administration putting 17,000 jobs at risk.
The beleaguered department store chain needed a cash injection before August 20 and is closing 31 stores, including its flagship Oxford Street branch.
Today - Mr - Ashley - Cent - Business
Today Mr Ashley, who already owned 11 per cent of the business, bought the its remaining 28 shops, all the stock and the brand for £90million.
Its website is offline today but the business says it is honouring all online orders and honouring returns and vouchers, for now.
Administrators - EY - Today - Mr - Ashley
Administrators EY stepped in today at 8.34am and Mr Ashley's deal to buy it was announced at 9.56am.
The Sports Direct founder, who has previously said he dreamed of owning a UK department store, faced a rival bid from Philip Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
House - Fraser - Administration - Today - Years
When House of Fraser toppled into administration today it ended 169 years of trouble-free trading for the retailer.
In a stock market announcement, Sports Direct said it has acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the brand and all of the stock in the business.
Staff - House - Fraser - Sports - Direct
Some 17,000 staff are being informed that they will be transferred over from House of Fraser to Sports Direct.
The deal was struck through a pre-pack administration process, where a company is put into administration before a new buyer cherry picks the best assets.
Tycoon - Competition - Philip - Day - Billionaire
The tycoon beat off competition from retail rival Philip Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
It is understood that Mr Day's proposal was in excess of £100 million, would have avoided an administration and included House of Fraser's pension scheme.
Accountancy - Giant - EY - Process - Mr
However, accountancy giant EY, which was overseeing the process, opted for Mr Ashley's offer.
Sources said that Mr Ashley will now begin the process of turning some House of Fraser stores into Sports Direct outlets and...
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