Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is considering buying a stake in House of Fraser, it was reported.

The founder of Sports Direct International, whose company recently signed a retail deal with Rangers, is understood to have sounded out some shareholders of the department store chain to discuss buying out investors and creating a strategic partnership.

House of Fraser began life in 1941 as the drapery business Fraser, Sons & Co in Glasgow and was bought by a consortium led by the now-defunct Icelandic retail investor Baugur in a £351 million deal in 2006.

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Shareholders of the business, which has 62 shops in the UK and Ireland, also include Karen Millen co-founder Kevin Stanford and Lloyds Banking Group. No-one was available for comment.