China's Sanpower to buy UK's House of Fraser - source

LONDON Fri Apr 4, 2014 2:03pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - China's Sanpower Group has agreed to buy an 89 percent stake in Britain's House of Fraser in a deal that values the department store at over 450 million pounds, including debt.

A source close to the deal, who did not want to be named, told Reuters on Friday the transaction with the Nanjing-based conglomerate founded by Chinese business tycoon Yuan Yafei was expected to be confirmed "imminently".

The 160-year-old House of Fraser, which trades from 61 stores in Britain and Ireland and has annual sales of about 1.2 billion pounds, had been running a dual track sale process - looking for potential buyers while also considering a possible initial public share offer.

Talks about a sale to French counterpart Galeries Lafayette ended in January.

House of Fraser declined to comment on the deal and Sanpower Group could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by James Davey)

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