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Mulberry believed to have denied Mike Ashley’s board seat bid

By Rachel Douglass


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Credits: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP

Luxury brand Mulberry has reportedly rejected Mike Ashley’s bid to join its board after the retail tycoon expressed concern over the company’s handling of its Asian business.

Ashley’s Frasers Group has a 36.8 percent stake in the British retailer, however it is controlled by Malaysian billionaire Ong Beng Seng, who owns over 56 percent alongside his wife, Christina.

The pursuit of a board seat, initially reported on by The Times, came after Ashley was believed to have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of transparency surrounding Mulberry’s poor performance in Asia.

Mulberry partnered with Ong’s Singapore-based company Challice in 2017, through a joint venture that looked to expand the luxury brand into the Far East.

Rumours of the boardroom raid have been circulating in recent months, with Ashley understood to be seeking more information on how the joint venture operates.

Now, it appears that Mulberry’s chief executive officer Thierry Andretta has declined Ashley’s efforts to snap up a board seat.

In a statement, Andretta said that while Ashley was “an important shareholder, a successful businessman… we don’t consider he has the expertise that we need to grow the company”.

Mike Ashley