May 5, 2018 / 12:42 PM / 2 months ago

House of Fraser shareholder Sports Direct sues over business plan

LONDON (Reuters) - A minority shareholder of Britain’s House of Fraser, Sports Direct (SPD.L), is suing the department store chain to gain access to its business plan, after House of Fraser announced a major restructuring this week.

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past House of Fraser on Oxford Street in central London, Britain, April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

House of Fraser said on Wednesday it would close some of its stores as a condition of securing new funds from Chinese retailer C.banner (1028.HK), which will become the majority owner of the department store group with a 51 percent stake.

Sportswear chain Sports Direct, which owns 11.1 percent of House of Fraser, said on Saturday that it had applied to London’s High Court for an injunction requiring House of Fraser to provide a copy of its corporate plan and other information.

A worker walks up stairs before a Sports Direct general meeting to vote on the re-appointment of chairman Keith Hellawell in Shirebrook, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

“We have been frozen out by House of Fraser. Their dealings in China are opaque, and it is blatant that we have been unfairly prejudiced,” Sports Direct’s head of strategic investments, Liam Rowley, said.

A representative of House of Fraser was not immediately available for comment.

C.banner, a major retailer of mid-range to premium footwear brands in China, bought famous London toy shop Hamleys in 2015.

House of Fraser was founded in 1849 and has stores in 59 locations across Britain and Ireland, including London’s Oxford Street.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Toby Chopra

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