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Sports Direct

Mandate trade union seeks meeting over future of House of Fraser Dundrum

It emerged today that the chain was bought up by the British group Sports Direct.

MANDATE TRADE UNION has called for an immediate meeting with with the appointed administrators for the House of Fraser group.

Mandate, which represents workers in the Dundrum outlet, said its members are uncertain of their future after the administrator temporarily closed the store this morning.

Sports Direct, owned by Mike Ashley, purchased the House of Fraser outlets in the UK for €90 million today, but the deal does not include the Dundrum store in Ireland which has more than 200 staff, along with concession staff.

Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary said: “Our members are obviously very concerned about the closing of their store today and about their future. We are requesting an immediate meeting with EY to discuss the future of the store and the potential consequences for our members.”

The administrators, Ernst Young, said it is attempting “to complete certain regulatory matters need to be considered before the Sports Direct Group can complete their proposed acquisition of the Dundrum store”.

Earlier today, House of Fraser – which was controlled by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower prior to the Sports Direct buyout - announced that it was planning to enter administration.

The 169-year-old firm, which has department stores dotted mostly across Britain and Ireland, currently employs about 17,500 staff. Some 6,000 jobs were previously on the chopping block in an overhaul that had been unveiled in June.

At the time, it said it was shutting 31 of its 59 stores. Its Dublin and Belfast units weren’t marked for closure at that stage.

House of Fraser revealed last week that it had lost a proposed investment from the Chinese owner of Hamleys and was looking for a new rescuer.

The group had announced a drastic restructuring after agreeing a 51% sale to China’s C.banner International Holdings, which already owns the London toy retailer Hamleys, for £70 million.

However,  a slump in its own share price had rendered the transaction “impracticable and inadvisable”, and it axed the deal.

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