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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 09:54 GMT
House of Fraser bidder walks away
House of Fraser store in London
House of Fraser is being hit by the consumer slowdown
Department store House of Fraser's shares have tumbled after it revealed takeover talks had come to nothing.

Its stock fell 13% in early morning trading as it also reported that like-for-like sales had fallen 1.4% in the six weeks since 29 January.

Private equity firm Apax Partners had been seen as a likely suitor for the store chain, which said last month that it was in "preliminary talks".

Analysts had valued the House of Fraser group at about 300m.

Difficult trading

The group operates about 60 department stores in the UK and Ireland, after acquiring the Beatties and Jenners chains last year.

Including these new stores, House of Fraser's sales were up 16.2% in the six weeks since 29 January.

The group reiterated a report given earlier this year that it expected trading conditions to be difficult for at least the first half of 2006 and forecast cost pressures over the next 12 months.

The firm made a 3m loss in the first six months of the current financial year, but experienced an improvement in sales in the run-up to Christmas.

It has closed a number of stores, including Dickins & Jones in London's Regent Street.


SEE ALSO:
House of Fraser gets bid interest
26 Feb 06 |  Business
Do we still like being served?
11 Nov 05 |  Business
House of Fraser sees losses widen
28 Sep 05 |  Business
300 staff lose jobs at Beatties
16 Sep 05 |  West Midlands
Jenners staff told of job losses
13 May 05 |  Scotland


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