THE FUTURE of House of Fraser looks uncertain again as new documents have revealed Sports Direct is poised to exit its involvement with the beleaguered department store.
Seven properties have been vacated and keys have been returned to landlords after Sports Direct bought the high street chain out of administration for £90m, according to the latest filings by administrators EY.
The majority of the 59 stores have either been surrendered or are being treated as at an end to allow Sports Direct to enter into new agreements with the landlords, which would permit Ashley to make a quick exit, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Sports Direct took control of 64 House of Fraser sites including 59 stores, three office buildings and two warehouses following the acquisition in August last year.
Ashley had vowed to transform the troubled department store into the "Harrods of the High Street". However, in Sports Direct's latest financial results, he branded issues at the store as "terminal".
The results, which were published in July after being delayed twice, revealed that House of Fraser had lost £54m in the year to April.
The company said: "There are still a number of stores which are currently paying zero rent and that are still unprofitable, and unfortunately this is not sustainable. We are continuing to review the longer-term portfolio and would expect the number of retained stores to reduce in the next 12 months."
(c) 2019 City A.M., source Newspaper