Fullshare circling House of Fraser

Fullshare, the Hong Kong-listed leisure and property conglomerate behind a swoop on House of Fraser, has lined up a £1.1 billion (US$1.5 billion) lending agreement to support “business opportunities” and takeovers.

The company has confirmed the financing just days ahead of an expected update on talks that could see it and its business partners grab a majority stake in the department store chain.

Fullshare says its “VIP” agreement with Bank of Communications in China, known as BoCom Bank, will include the provision of “acquisition finance” and provide “a strong back-up for the group in pursuing business opportunities”. Controlled by tycoon Ji Changqun, who is worth an estimated £3.9 billion, Fullshare owns 45 per cent of Wuji Wenhua, the firm trying to buy a majority share in House of Fraser.

Fullshare’s investments include Wonder City, a shopping mall in Ji’s hometown Nanjing, the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort in Port Douglas, Australia, and a 28-storey building in Singapore’s Raffles Place.

House of Fraser is 89 per cent owned by a Chinese department store company that is in turn controlled by Chinese industrialist Yuan Yafei, whose wealth is estimated at £1.4 billion. Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, also owner of Newcastle FC, holds the remaining 11 per cent.


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