Sports Direct International, the retail business founded by tycoon Mike Ashley, has announced a plan to rebrand as Frasers Group.

The FTSE 250 company has tabled a shareholder vote to change its company name to Frasers Group as the business attempts to improve its image.

Shareholders will vote on the proposed rebrand on December 16.

Sports Direct has stores in Carlisle, Penrith, Workington, Barrow and Kendal and also owns Carlisle’s flagship House of Fraser store, which was thrown a lifeline when Mr Ashley snapped up the retail chain last summer in a £90 million pre-pack administration deal.

The move to rebrand follows a recent announcement that the retailer will launch a new lifestyle store chain called Frasers on the high street within the new financial year.

Sports Direct said the rebrand has been proposed to "reflect the changing profile and consumer proposition of the group".

It said the move is "reflective of the business strategy of the company to elevate its retail proposition across all channels and demonstrates the transformation of the company over recent years into the holder of a diversified portfolio of sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle fascias".

The company said it was once "solely a leading international retailer in sports apparel", but is now "equally as successful in the lifestyle and luxury markets".

Earlier this month, Mr Ashley signalled that his recent acquisition drive had been placed on hold.

The company has faced a series of challenges in its retail portfolio, including efforts to turn around the "terminal" problems at House of Fraser, after it emerged the company owed the Belgian authorities 674 million euro (£605 million) relating to VAT charges on goods moved within the EU.

Shortly after the revelation, Mr Ashley reportedly told Sports Direct investors that there could be more House of Fraser closures in the short term.

Sports Direct beat Cumbrian retail tycoon and billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, Philip Day, in the race to buy House of Fraser.

Although Mr Day's proposal was understood to have been £10m more, included the retailer’s pension scheme and would have avoided administration, accountancy giant EY, which oversaw the sale, opted for Sports Direct’s offer.

The House of Fraser store in Carlisle, which employs around 150 people, was among those spared the axe.