Billionaire retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley is considering a potential bid for BHS stores and Debenhams’ Irish operation.

The founder of Sports Direct has written to BHS administrators Duff & Phelps expressing interest in taking over some of its stores.

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In his letter, he said he wanted to reopen a further dialogue about saving the BHS brand and a number of jobs.

“We can confirm that we have a continued interest in BHS,” a Sports Direct spokesman told the BBC.

“We have written to the administrator seeking to re-open a dialogue about saving a number of jobs and stores along with the BHS name.”

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Ashley, who owns a majority share in Irish department store chain Heatons, is also weighing up a potential bid for Debenhams’ Irish operation, reports the Sunday Business Post.

The news follows the announcement that Debenhams Retail (Ireland) has sought examinership because of consistent losses sustained since the recession in 2007 and after a withdrawal of support of its UK parent company.

Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed interim examiner last month, after the High Court was informed the company has a reasonable prospect of survival if certain steps are met.

Ashley is also the owner of Newcastle United after paying around £140 million for the club.