House of Fraser’s slated £70m investment from C.banner has been delayed due to the legal challenge brought against the retailer by landlords following its CVA.
The department store retailer is now facing a cash squeeze as a result to the delay in C.banner’s investment, which was earmarked to facilitate the retailer’s rescue plan.
C.banner was set to buy shares from the chain’s current majority shareholder Sanpower for £70m, alongside investing a further £70m in the business on the condition that its CVA plan was approved and implemented.
This deal has hit a roadblock following the legal action brought against House of Fraser in the Scottish courts by a handful of its landlords, who are represented by restructuring firm Begbies Traynor and property agency JLL.
The landlords in question have challenged the retailer’s CVA plan to shutter nearly half of its 59 stores on the grounds of alleged “unfair prejudice against certain creditors” and “material irregularities in the implementation of the CVA”.
According to The Guardian, C.banner was previously expected to send details of its investment plan in the retailer to its shareholders this Thursday, with its cash injection set for later in the summer.
Instead, the Chinese firm filed a note on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday stating that it would be unable to release details of its investment in House of Fraser until October 31 due to the legal challenge it is facing against store closures.
One industry source told The Guardian that this setback had resulted in suppliers kicking off contingency planning for House of Fraser’s possible collapse into administration as the retailer would struggle to pay the rent bill due at the end of September without the planned investment from C.banner.