Fraser to float via store card

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The Independent Online
HOUSE of Fraser, the department stores group, is wooing its own credit cardholders in an attempt to boost demand for shares in its forthcoming flotation, writes Patrick Hosking.

The group is writing to its 900,000 Fraser Card holders urging them to register for the flotation, due in March. The letters start going out tomorrow.

Advisers to HoF see the cardholder base as a key tool in selling shares. Cardholders tend to be wealthy and middle-aged - ideal prospects. About 600,000 have used their cards in the last 12 months.

HoF hopes that about pounds 100m- pounds 125m of shares will go to the public, the rest of the shares in the pounds 400m-plus offer going to institutional investors.

Its advisers are satisfied that HoF has been sufficiently ring-fenced from its owners, the tarnished Fayed brothers, to reassure investors.

A more immediate worry is the jitteriness of the stock market generally. Any more heavy falls in share prices would make a float much more difficult. The Fayeds can cancel it at any time.

The flotation will be backed by a national television awareness campaign, starting on 21 February. The pathfinder prospectus is due on 28 February.

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