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Last Updated: Monday, 13 September, 2004, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
House of Fraser holdings sold off
House of Fraser store
The share sale may lead to bid speculation in the retail sector
Retail entrepreneur Tom Hunter and Icelandic group Baugur have sold their stakes in UK department store group House of Fraser.

Mr Hunter and Baugur were reported to be weighing up an offer for House of Fraser in 2003, but no takeover bid actually emerged.

Baugur owns London toy shop Hamleys and has stakes in fashion chain Oasis and food groups Big Food and Somerfield.

Mr Hunter held an 11% interest in House of Fraser, and Baugur held 10%.

The tycoon was continuing to look for investments in the British retail and property sectors, his spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

The combined holdings in House of Fraser were sold for a total of 55.6m ($99.97m).

Mr Hunter had made 9m on his investment, his spokesman said.

Bid speculation

Shares in House of Fraser fell 9.1%, valuing it at about 270m, as hopes for a takeover faded.

Retail observers predicted Mr Hunter's withdrawal from House of Fraser may spark bid speculation elsewhere in the sector.

Mr Hunter, who was listed as Britain's 73rd wealthiest person in this year's Sunday Times Rich List, also owns a large stake in JJB Sports.

In April he revealed plans to give away 100m through his own charitable institution.

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21 Mar 03  |  Business

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