Discussions at advanced stage
House of Fraser is in talks about an offer for the entire issued and non-issued share capital of department store chain Beatties.

This morning's official confirmation from the pair follows increasing press speculation that a deal could be in the offing. The two retail groups said discussions were 'at an advanced stage', but insist there is no certainty that any offer will be made.

Beatties was founded as a small draper's shop in Wolverhampton in 1877. The group owns 12 Beatties department stores, most of which are in the Midlands.

HoF has previously played down an interest in small, regional players. However, in March chief executive John Coleman outlined ambitious plans to open 20 stores over the next decade after buying Edinburgh department store Jenners.