June 7, 2018 / 7:38 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK's House of Fraser to close 31 stores, 6,000 jobs at stake

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LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - British department store group House of Fraser said on Thursday it has proposed closing 31 stores in a move likely to result in 6,000 job losses.

The restructuring plan would leave the group with just 28 stores in the United Kingdom.

House of Fraser said it had on Wednesday filed proposals for Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) in the UK courts to proceed with the restructuring.

"These proposals are central to the significant restructuring of the business, without which House of Fraser does not have a viable future," it said.

The CVA route, which allows firms to avoid insolvency or administration, has already been taken this year by fellow UK retail strugglers - fashion chain New Look, floor coverings group Carpetright and mother-and-baby goods retailer Mothercare.

House of Fraser's CVA proposal follows last month's announcement that international retailer C.banner had agreed to become the majority owner of the group with a 51 percent stake, with existing shareholder Nanjing Cenbest, part of the Sanpower Group, remaining a minority shareholder.

It said if the CVA is approved by creditors at a June 22 meeting the stores identified for closure will remain open until early 2019.

Approval will affect up to 2,000 House of Fraser employees and a further 4,000 brand and concession partners. (Reporting by James Davey)

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