House of Fraser parent company Highland Group Holdings has today completed the sale of 89 per cent of its shares to Chinese department giant Nanjing Cenbest for a value of approximately £480m.
The deal will see the international brands sold through House of Fraser brought to Nanjing Cenbest’s chain of stores, while the Chinese retail giant will develop House of Fraser’s global footprint.
Several markets including China have already been pinpointed as the next countries for expansion of the department store brand.
House of Fraser executive chairman, Don McCarthy, who has today stepped down from his role, said it is an “extremely exciting period” for House of Fraser.
“The acquisition by Nanjing Cenbest will move House of Fraser to the next stage of its development as a leading international, multi-channel retail group with a premium fashion offering. Since we took the company private in 2006, John King and his team have done an exceptional job of modernising the business model and growing sales to new record levels.
“I would like to thank our brand and concession partners, all House of Fraser employees and the management team for their hard work and support over the years.”
Eleven per cent of shares remain at Sports Direct after the retailer acquired them in April.
Yuan Yafei, chairman of Sanpower Group, the largest shareholder of Nanjing Cenbest, added: “We are excited to tap the significant opportunities that House of Fraser has in China, where the brand has very strong growth potential. We are looking forward to bringing international brands to China through House of Fraser, providing Chinese consumers with premium fashion products.
“We are extremely confident House of Fraser will become a leading global department store and will serve as a bridge for premium brands between China and Europe.”
Nanjing Cenbest is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and House of Fraser by Reorient Group.