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Chinese magnate eyeing up Britain’s high street

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House of Fraser’s billionaire buyer Yuan Yafei could be buying British toy shop Hamley’s.

Last year conglomerate Sanpower checked out with House of Fraser and now it’s courting the owners of another UK retailer - 255 year old toy store Hamley’s. It is understood that Yafai, the Chinese tycoon who chairs Sanpower, is in talks with Hamley’s parent company Groupe Ludendo.

Yafei was relatively unknown in the UK until his £480m buy of House of Fraser, which is set for earnest expansion in China, with a trio of stores launching there from next year onwards.

If the surprise takeover goes ahead, Sanpower would begin firmly cementing its position on Britain’s high street. House of Fraser trades from over 60 stores in the UK and since Hamley’s flagship store moved to Regent Street, it has become something of a landmark destination for tourists.

Published on Monday 15 June by Veebs Sabharwal

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