The administrator of the House of Fraser is facing a complaint because of its handling of the collapse of the department store and its sale to Sports Direct.
In a letter, Paul Mckie, a businessman, claimed that he was informed by Ernst & Young on the morning of the administration that the company had not been appointed.
The official complaint was addressed to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). It also suggested that “the deal with sports direct [sic] was agreed prior to the administration.”
Before the administration, Fashion Collective, the business of Mckie, had already made an offer to take on 31 of the stores of the House of Fraser.
A spokesperson for EY stated: “The company prior to insolvency deemed Mr Paul Mckie’s offer inadequate and not worth pursuing. This offer was substantially less than the other offers on the table prior to our appointment. EY has full confidence in the way our team conducted the sale of the business of House of Fraser.”
Previously, the acquisition of Sports Direct of the House of Fraser drew in some criticism from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill of Philip Day. Early last month, a source who is close to the firm said that it had felt “frozen out” by the administrators despite being ready to pay £100 million for the business.
Earlier today, some news emerged that EWM has already placed trading from some of its concessions with House of Fraser on hold while the talks with the new owners continue. Previously, Day has called on Mike Ashley to repay all suppliers, who are believed to be owed £70 million, “in full”.
Today, the Foschini Group, the owner of Hobbs, said that it was likely to write down some bad debt as an outcome of the collapse of the House of Fraser.