House of Fraser has refused to be drawn on reports Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group has placed a surprise bid for the UK department store retailer.

According to a report in The Times newspaper, the offer values House of Fraser at more than GBP450m (US$749.2m). The report added that the two companies have been in secret talks for several months.

Sanpower's offer is understood to have been accepted by House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy, and has been presented to the retailer's other investors for approval.

But a spokesperson for House of Fraser declined to comment on the matter when contacted by just-style this morning (31 March). 

The report comes two months after House of Fraser was rumoured to have hired advisers ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO).

House of Fraser, which operates 61 stores, hailed its "best ever" Christmas trading period earlier this year, after it was boosted by strong fashion and online sales.