Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has increased his stake in department store Debenhams plc to 29.70% as a takeover bid moves ever-closer.
Sports Direct has today (2 Mar) released a statement via the London Stock Exchange announcing that the chain has increased its total holding in Debenhams to 29.70%.
The news puts Ashley one step closer to launching a formal takeover bid of the upmarket department store chain.
UK takeover rules state that a shareholder holding shares worth 30% or more of another company’s stock must launch a formal takeover bid by law.
Liam Rowley, head of strategic investments at Sports Direct, said: "We see huge value for both companies in a strategic partnership between Debenhams and Sports Direct.
"There are obvious synergies that can be achieved through the integration of our respective web operations. We also see opportunities to work together internationally.
"Importantly, there is scope for greater collaboration in the UK in order to roll out an elevated offering to consumers.
“We believe Sports Direct can complement Debenhams very well across the spectrum."
Debenhams, which issued a profit warning in January following poor festive trading, has a market value of approximately £350m.
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