Mike Ashley’s empire becomes the largest shareholder in troubled Boohoo
Looking ahead: retail magnate Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley has become Boohoo’s largest shareholder after increasing his stake again.
The retail magnate’s Frasers Group – which owns Sports Direct, Flannels and House of Fraser – increased its stake in the online fashion retailer from 10.4 per cent to 13.4 per cent, according to a regulatory filing.
This made him Boohoo’s largest shareholder, ahead of founder Mahmud Kamani, who holds a 12.5 percent stake. Frasers is run by Ashley’s son-in-law Michael Murray, who took over last year.
The group first bought a 5 percent stake in Boohoo in June and increased that stake several times over the summer. Boohoo was seen as an attractive investment because of its “strong focus on young female consumers”, a Frasers spokesman said at the time. Ashley, former owner of Premier League football club Newcastle United, controls Frasers with his 72 percent stake.
Frasers has joined several other firms in recent months, building a 10 per cent stake in Boohoo rival Asos and acquiring an 18.9 per cent stake in AO World, which was later increased to 22 per cent, making the company its largest shareholder .
Stylish: Boohoo also owns the Karen Millen brand, which has collaborated with model Elle Macpherson
The retail empire Ashley built from a single sports store in Maidenhead also includes Jack Wills, Evans Cycles and menswear retailer Gieves & Hawkes.
Boohoo also owns the Karen Millen brand, which has worked with model Elle Macpherson.
The same week, Boohoo shares plunged to an eight-year low after the company cut its sales and profit forecasts.
Boohoo said sales could fall by up to 17 percent year-on-year in the 12 months to the end of February 2024.
The company also expects annual profits of between £58 million and £70 million, up from a previous forecast of between £69 million and £78 million.
Sales fell 17 percent to £729.1 million as it lost 2.2 million customers and order numbers fell 5.1 million to 23.2 million.
Boohoo shares rose 1.1 per cent, or 0.33p, to 30.33p yesterday. Frasers rose 2.2 per cent, or 17.5p, to 823p.