China’s Sanpower Group takes control of House of Fraser


House of Fraser fell into Chinese hands yesterday after Sanpower Group agreed a deal to buy 89 per cent of the high-street retailer.

The takeover is understood to value the company at £450m and ends any prospect of it joining the London Stock Exchange over the coming months.

Sanpower is best known as the owner of China’s Nanjing Xinjiekou department store and was founded in Nanjing in 1993 by 49-year-old entrepreneur Yafei Yuan.

It controls a network of more than 100 companies in sectors ranging from retail  to property.

Mr Yuan told the Chinese media: “We can learn from House of Fraser. But the deal is good for House of Fraser as well. The UK market is growing slowly and is limited. I can bring them to China. I’ve come up with the name for it. We will lay out the plan nationwide. That’s why it has gone this far.

“Shareholders and managers of House of Fraser are very confident in us.”

John King, House of Fraser’s chief executive, described the deal as an “opportunity” for the retailer, which has 61 stores across Britain and Ireland and  has been privately owned since 2006 when it was bought by a consortium led by Icelandic banks.