Matalan boss John King was confirmed as chief executive of House of Fraser yesterday after the department store chain changed hands in a #351 million deal.
The Baugur-led consortium H ighland Acquisitions announced that Mr King will join the company early next year as replacement for John Coleman, who stepped down as chief executive after completion of the takeover.
Mr King joined Matalan in 2003 and has more than 20 years experience in retail and m anufacturing. He was appointed alongside executive chairman Don McCarthy, who set up the Shoe Studio Group in 1991.
Mr Coleman told staff: "It has been a privilege to lead House of Fraser since 1996 and I am proud of the business we have created as Britain's leading retailer of designer brands.
"Our success in doubling our profits over that period is down to the hard work, commitment and dedication of all of you and your colleagues around the business."
According to reports, Mr Coleman is set to receive at least #515,572 in compensation on top of a #1.7 million payout from the vesting of long-term investment plan shares. He will also get up to #4.7 million in cash from shares he already owns.
Mr McCarthy replaces Michael Wemms as chairman.
Baugur's acquisition of Fraser is its biggest in the UK to date and takes the turnover of companies in which it is a major shareholder towards #10 billion.
It follows the takeover of clothing chains Whistles and Karen Millen along with tea and coffee maker Whittard of Chelsea. Baugur's empire also includes royal jeweller Mappin & Webb, Hamleys and food retailers Iceland and Booker.
In October, House of Fraser said investment in the business, including through the acquisition of Jenners and Beatties, caused losses for the half-year period to reach # 9.3 million, against #4.4 million a year earlier.
Further one-off accounting items pushed the bottom-line figure to #11.6 million, against #3.1 million in 2005.
House of Fraser has ten stores in the Midlands trading under its own and the Beatties names.