House of Fraser TO CLOSE? Department store chain in CRISIS talks with lenders: ...

House of FraserGETTYHouse of Fraser is locked in crisis talks with lenders to avoid administration

The department store chain, which employs 17,000 staff across 59 stores, is expected to launch a store closure plan next week.

But sources have told the Press Association the company is still drawing up emergency contingency plans in the case it has to enter administration.

House of Fraser is racing to secure £70 million in fresh funding through a proposed rescue plan but if this fails, it could file a notice to appoint administrators in days.

The firm is holding last-ditch talks with HSBC and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China throughout this weekend after the lenders expressed concern about the department store chain’s bid to secure funding from a new investor.

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The lenders, advised by EY, want assurances that Hamley’s owner C.banner will keep a promise of new funding when it takes a majority stake in the business.

The group has said it will pump cash into the business if the retailer accelerates a sweeping store closure programme via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

But this could still encounter problems as the move would require

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