Mike Ashley has asked Debenhams to “reconsider” his £40m investment offer which he described as “a very public statement of support at a critical time for Debenhams’ business” in an email in which he described himself as “frustrated”.
In the letter Ashley expresses his frustration that Sports Direct’s “assistance” has been “turned down”, however adds that he wasn’t surprised by the “by the predictable negative response”.
EXCLUSIVE: here’s the letter Mike Ashley sent Debenhams boss pic.twitter.com/a0B7kxFqhY
— Ashley Armstrong (@AArmstrong_says) December 13, 2018
Ashley’s Sports Direct owns 30% of Debenhams, which is closing up to 50 stores and seeking new investment as part of a “transformation strategy” following a downturn in business. The letter suggests Sports Direct will take an additional stake in the business in return for the investment, reported to be 10% in the Telegraph.
A Debenhams spokesperson told Retail Sector: “We welcome Sports Direct’s proposal as a clear demonstration of their willingness to support the company. However, as the offer came with conditions that could affect the interests of other stakeholders, while the board does not think it could accept the proposal, as presented, it has invited Sports Direct to engage as part of our broader refinancing process.”
Retail Sector has contacted Sports Direct for comment.