Mike Ashley keeps increasing his stake in Debenhams – now owns 21 percent

Sports Direct. The athletic sports chain owned by retail mogul Mike Ashley announced Tuesday in a stock exchange announcement that Sports Direct has raised its interest in Debenhams from 19 percent to 21 percent.

With the move, Sports Direct has also gained over 10 percent of voting rights control in the department store operator. Today, Ashley controls 21.04 percent of the company’s equity through shares, contracts for differences and share options.

Increasing investment in Debenhams rings the alarms for a potential takeover

This has arisen the question of whether Sports Direct has plans to acquire Debenhams or not, as in the UK, when a company or individual acquires more than 30 percent of a company’s voting rights they are required to launch a mandatory takeover offer.

However, Sports Direct’s owner has refuted a potential takeover, saying that Sports Direct wants to be a "supportive stakeholder" in Debenhams, and to create value in the interests of shareholders of both firms.

Over the past years, Sports Direct has increased its presence in different fashion retailers in the country, including House of Holland and struggling French Connection, in which it now holds a 27 percent stake.

Photo courtesy of Debenhams

 

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