Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is understood to be vying to take a stake in department store House of Fraser.

Ashley is understood to have held talks with some of House of Fraser shareholders about buying out investors and creating a strategic partnership.

A deal could be revealed in the next couple of weeks, according to The Telegraph.

House of Fraser was bought in 2006 from public market investors for £351m by a consortium led by Icelandic investor Baugur, which has since collapsed.

Shareholders include Icelandic bank Landsbanki, chairman of the department store Don McCarthy and TBH Trading, which is thought to be the investment vehicle of Sir Tom Hunter, who is also an investor in Sports Direct. Karen Millen co-founder Kevin Stanford is also a House of Fraser shareholder.

Ashley has been on the acquisition trail of late and snapped up a majority stake in fashion chains USC and Cruise last year.