SPORTS Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is eyeing a possible stake in department store chain House of Fraser.
The retail stalwart, which traces its roots back to a drapery shop in Glasgow in 1849, is part-owned by Sir Tom Hunter who last year sold majority stakes in the Cruise and USC fashion chains to Ashley.
A spokesman for Hunter yesterday declined to comment on speculation about Ashley’s interest in the company which his TBH Trading investment vehicle holds a stake of around 11 per cent in.
It is thought Ashley has already held talks with some of House of Fraser’s shareholders, which also include Icelandic bank Landsbanki and Lloyds Banking Group
House of Fraser was bought off the stock market in 2006 by a consortium led by former Icelandic investment group Baugur.
Ashley’s Sports Direct business paid £7 million for an 80 per cent stake in USC and Cruise, which specialise in designer brands such as Ugg boots and the Adidas Originals range.