House of Fraser has called in administrators after last-ditch talks with investors and creditors failed.

The fate of 17,500 staff members who work for HoF and the concessions in its stores hangs in the balance.

Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman was first to reveal administrators were to be appointed today after talks with three potential backers failed to find a solution to save the 169-year-old department store chain.

In a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where the company’s bonds are listed, HoF said it the administrator Ernst & Young would continue those talks and a sale of the retailer’s business and assets.

The administrator plans to keep the business trading, including all stores and offices, while they seek to complete a sale. All stores will be open for business as usual today, the company said.

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.

An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.

In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C.Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the Group’s financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace.

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(c) Sky News 2018: House of Fraser calls in administrators