Michael Staines
Michael Staines

20.53 7 Mar 2019


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Retail tycoon Mike Ashley has outlined his plans to exit Sports Direct and take over at Department store chain Debenhams.

The 54-year-old announced the plan in a statement after financial markets had closed this evening.

He holds a 30% stake in Debenhams and was recently instrumental in getting its CEO removed from the board.

The statement said Sports Direct had "requisitioned a general meeting of Debenhams" to appoint Mr Ashley to eh board and remove all of its current members but one.

It said that if he was to be appointed Mr Ashley would “carry out an executive role and would focus on the Debenhams business, including building a strong board and management team.

It said he would also step down from his role as a director and CEO of Sports Direct.

It remains unclear when any general meeting might be held.

It comes after the Debenhams board rejected the terms of a £40m (€46.7m) cash bailout offer from Mr Ashley.

The chain – which issued a fresh profit warning this week – later agreed a deal with banks instead.

Responding to Mr Ashley’s move, the Debenhams board said it had been "engaging with Sports Direct and our other stakeholders" and was "disappointed" by the action.

The company added that it was "focused on delivering the restructuring of its balance sheet."

With reporting from IRN 


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