MIKE Ashley's Sports Direct has acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the brand and all of the stock in the business, the firm said in a stock market announcement.

Prior to its collapse, Mike Ashley had held an 11% stake in the department store chain.

Staff are being informed that they will be transferred over from House of Fraser to Sports Direct.

House of Fraser previously said "significant progress has been made" in reaching a sale of the group's business and assets.

EY, which is expected to be appointed administrators today, is expected to continue those discussions in hopes of reaching a deal "shortly after their appointment".

HeraldScotland:

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.

"An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.

"In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C.Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the group's financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace."

HeraldScotland:

House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said: "This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan.

Despite the very recent termination of the transaction between Cenbest and C.Banner, I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future."

Richard Lim, of Retail Economics, said: "The combination of rapidly rising costs against a backdrop of seismic shifts in the way we all shop is pushing traditional business models to the brink.

"The race is on to pivot business structures fast enough to be fit-for-purpose in today's digital world.

Criticism has also been levelled at House of Fraser's former Chinese owner, Yuan Yafei's Sanpower

"Individual circumstances need to be accounted for. The demise of House of Fraser in many ways has been the result of poor leadership, paralysis in innovation and crippling levels of debt," Mr Lim added.