Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct ups stake in Debenhams

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

Sports Direct has raised its stake in department store chain and lingerie retailer Debenhams.

Mike Ashley’s firm upped its interest in Debenhams stock from 13.38% to 16.09%, regulatory filings show.

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

Last month, 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.