Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct ups stake Debenhams to 21%

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Sports Direct has increased its stake in department store chain Debenhams to more than 20%.

A filing with the London Stock Exchange revealed that the retailer, controlled by Mike Ashley, has lifted its stake to 21% from 19%, giving it a 10.5% of the voting rights in the company.

Sports Direct originally purchased a 4.6% stake in the business in January 2014, acquiring further shares at the beginning of October 2014 in a deal worth £33m, taking its maximum exposure to £64m.

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The increase of its holdings in Debenhams follows Mike Ashley’s decision to pick up a 27% interest in French Connection in July and a 25% stake in Game Digital.

The company also sought to buy Debenhams Ireland last year, but was outbid by parent company Debenhams Ltd.

In March, Sports Direct dismissed reports that it had acquired Agent Provocateur as false.

“In fact, Agent Provocateur has been acquired by Four (Holdings) Limited, a company in which Sports Direct has a shareholding of 25%,” the company said.

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