High StreetM&A

Sports Direct among bidders for Links of London

Sports Direct is one of two final bidders attempting to buy jewellery brand Links of London from current owner Folli Follie (FF Group), according to reports from Sky News.

FF Group appointed firms Deloitte and Savigny to find a buyer for Links in late August, after the brand pulled out of the US, and reported pre-tax loss of £20.6m for the year ending December 2017.

Sources cited by Sky said that Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley was interested in acquiring the chain as part of his attempt to turnaround House of Fraser, which he bought out of administration last year.

Sports Direct made a presence in the auction despite news that group’s shareholders are set to rebel at its AGM next month after two proxy advisers recommended investors vote to remove Ashley from the board.

The group’s shares have dipped by almost a third in the last year, following the acquisition of House of Fraser with Ashley saying the problems at the chain was “nothing short of terminal in nature” and the failed buyout of Debenhams.

It also saw auditor Grant Thornton resign after it disclosed a £605m tax bill from authorities in Belgium.  

The sports retail brand also added retailers Game and Jack Wills to its existing portfolio earlier this summer. 

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