LONDON — Nanjing Cenbest, otherwise known as Nanjing Xinjiekou Deparment Store Co. Ltd., a Chinese department store chain and a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group, said Saturday that it has signeda definitive agreement to acquire 89 percent of the U.K. department store group House of Fraser, in a deal that values House of Fraser at around 480 million pounds, or $804.3 million at current exchange.
The deal, announced in a joint statement from Nanjing and House of Fraser, comes after weeks of talks between the two firms.
The deal is due to close in four months, the companies said, and is subject to conditions including the approval of Nanjing Cenbest shareholders and Chinese regulatory clearances.
House of Fraser's executive chairman Don McCarthy commented of the deal: "The acquisition by Nanjing Cenbest will allow House of Fraser’s management team to continue to grow and invest in the business in the U.K. and Ireland, provide a strong platform from which to expand the brand in international markets and to further develop our multichannel, stores and premium fashion offering," he said. On completion of the deal, McCarthy will step down from House of Fraser.
McCarthy also confirmed that the deal ends House of Fraser's plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.
Yuan Yafei, chairman of Sanpower Group, the largest shareholder in Nanjing Cenbest, underlined his global ambitions for House of Fraser:“We have always been looking to invest in strong brands like House of Fraser, and take them to the next level of growth," he stated. "With House of Fraser, we see significant opportunities to develop the business further and replicate the already successful model in international markets, in particular in China. We are very much looking forward to working closely with [House of Fraser chief executive] John King and his management team to enhance the business and unlock House of Fraser’s potential to become a leading global brand."
The House of Fraser board has approved the transaction, the companies said. The firm also noted the transfer an 11 percent stake in House of Fraser from retail entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter to Sports Direct, the firm owned by Mike Ashley. House of Fraser said that the transfer is subject to shareholder agreement, and if it does complete, the shareholding — owned by Ashley — loses the right to a board position.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion