Mike Ashley steps up bid for control of Debenhams
Sports Direct chief executive offered to step down from role to take on Debenhams challenge
Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Mr Ashley, one of Britain’s most famous and unorthodox businessmen, launched a coup earlier this month to take charge of Debenhams, in which he owns a nearly 30 per cent stake.
As part of the plan, he offered to step down from his role as Sports Direct’s boss.
Mr Ashley, who owns Newcastle United soccer club, made his fortune from building retailer Sports Direct and has recently snapped up stakes in other struggling chains hit by more people shopping online and weak consumer spending.
Last week, Sports Direct offered Debenhams an interest-free loan in return for a further 5 per cent stake, just as the department store chain was on the brink of securing funds to fend off Mr Ashley’s bid to take charge of the company.
Debenhams said that it would consider the £150 million (€173 million) unsecured loan offer. – Reuters