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House of Fraser sets deadline to secure new funds

British department store chain House of Fraser Group Ltd. needs to secure fresh funding by Aug. 20 to be able to continue operations, according to an Aug. 9 filing to the Luxembourg stock exchange.

In the filing, the company confirmed that it is continuing discussions with potential investors and its main secured creditors, saying the talks are "focused on concluding as quickly as possible to enable receipt of an investment required by no later than Aug. 20."

According to a separate report by Sky News, bidders for the struggling department store chain had reportedly been told to submit their final offers Aug. 9.

Sky News said potential buyers include Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley and investment company Alteri Partners LLP. Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd. CEO Philip Day, whose retail portfolio includes Jaeger, Peacocks and Austin Reed, is also said to be considering a bid for the company.

House of Fraser earlier said it plans to close 31 of its 59 stores in January 2019 as part of a restructuring deal with its Chinese parent company, Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co. Ltd., to sell a 51% stake to Hong Kong-listed C.banner International Holdings Ltd.

In June, it received creditor approval for the restructuring plan, which would have allowed the company to access capital from C.banner. However, C.banner canceled the deal Aug. 1, citing a significant drop in the transaction's per-share value. Since then, House of Fraser has been in talks with alternative investors to secure funds.