C.banner has walked back plans to invest in House of Fraser after a fall in its own share price
House of Fraser's plans to restructure its business have been dealt a fresh blow after the owner of Hamleys said it no longer plans to invest in the imperilled department store chain.


C.banner International, a diversified Chinese group majoring in footwear retail, has abandoned plans to take a 51 percent stake in House of Fraser that would have given the retailer a £70 million cash injection.

C.banner, listed on the Hong Stock Stock Exchange, has seen its share price fall sharply in recent weeks prompting it to yesterday say it was "impracticable and inadvisable" for it to go ahead with the investment.

It leaves House of Fraser — which has been trying to downsize its store network through the CVA insolvency mechanism — facing an urgent search for an alternative investor, with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct and turnaround specialist Alteri among those said to be talking to the retailer.

C.banner's investment had also been dependent upon House of Fraser agreeing the CVA, which despite getting the requisite support of creditors — including the likes of ScS, which runs furniture concessions in a number of House of Fraser stores — still faces hurdles. A number of landlords clubbed together to try and block the plan by making a legal challenge in the Scottish courts.

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