House of Fraser

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House of Fraser and Debenhams to buy together?

Could House of Fraser and Debenhams, in which Mike Ashley holds a 29% stake, start buying together to get better deals from suppliers?

Mr Ashley says that "they should have done years ago" and that he told them they should have done so. However, he talks about "separate management" and "separate egos".

He says that if House of Fraser and Debenhams did buy together it would "save on logistics".

No, says Ashley, to meeting with MP

Mike Ashley rebuffs a request by Labour MP Liz Twist to meet and discuss House of Fraser and its employees.

"If I do it for one person, think about all the other people I've let down," he says.

He then concedes that a meeting could take place if a number of people were there, including the landlords.

I will not owe any HoF debt, says Ashley

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley is in a combative mood.

He tells the cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government committee that those people who had gift cards under the previous owner of House of Fraser will get gift cards for the equivalent amount.

But he says that there will always be exceptions and that he does "not owe one penny of the old company's debt".

House of Fraser 'trading while insolvent for a long time'

Mike Ashley is now answering questions and the new-ish owner of House of Fraser is talking about his frustration at the previous management and says he believes the department store was "trading while insolvent for a very, very, very long time".

Lord of all he surveys

Mike Ashley's businesses

As we've already flagged, Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Sports Direct, will be appearing in front of the cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government committee at 3.30pm to talk about the future of the High Street.

He owns an enormous share of the High Street - including House of Fraser, luxury lingerie chain Agent Provocateur, Evan Cycles, as well as a 29% stake in Debenhams.

Business Live will be covering his appearance so stay with us.

'Unpredictable' Ashley before MPs later

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Mike Ashley, founder Sports Direct

This afternoon Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley appears before a panel of MPs to answer their questions about the future of the High Street.

With a big stake in Debenhams and also now owning House of Fraser, Mr Ashley sees himself as the saviour of the High Street.

"The one thing you can say about Mike Ashley is that he's consistently unpredictable," says retail analyst Richard Hyman.

"He does lots of surprising things. He has taken share stakes in a number of different businesses for reasons that haven't been at all apparent.

"It's hard to know what plan or strategy he really has," Mr Hyman said.

"The longevity of House of Fraser remains to be seen," he adds.

The session starts at 15:30.

Mike Ashley: What we know about the Sports Direct boss
What do we know about Mike Ashley, the billionaire boss and founder of Sports Direct?