HOUSE OF Fraser is planning to float on the London Stock Exchange after talks with French rival Galeries Lafayette failed to secure a sale. A source close the negotiations, said the owners of the department store chain felt they could get a better price for the company by floating on the open market. The float could raise upwards of £350m and comes on the back of a mini-frenzy in London's new issues market which has seen firms like Merlin Entertainments , Royal Mail and Infinis roar away to successful initial public offerings. Galeries Lafayette was in talks to acquire House of Fraser , and had exclusivity over a deal until the end of this month. House of Fraser is 20 per cent owned by chairman Don McCarthy , with the majority - 49 per cent - owned by a host of Icelandic banking figures. House of Fraser declined to comment last night.
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