Britain largest sports goods retailer Sports Direct has snapped up a 4.6% stake in Debenhams, equivalent to 56.8 million shares worth £46m.
In a press statement, Sports Direct said: “Sports Direct wishes to explore options at an operational level to work together with Debenhams to create value in the interests of both Sports Direct’s and Debenhams’ shareholders.
“This acquisition of shares has taken place without the prior knowledge of the Debenhams board of directors, but Sports Direct has communicated to Debenhams’ board its desire to work together and its intention to be a supportive shareholder.”
Set up by Mike Ashley in 1982, Sports Direct has 409 stores in the UK and also owns 28 other sports and lifestyle brands including Dunlop, Slazenger and Everlast. It also has a near 12% holding in JD Sports Fashion.