Sports Direct is one of two bidders for Links of London - report
today Sep 9, 2019
Buying House of Fraser and ultimately loss-making stakes in businesses like Debenhams and MySale may have been a chastening experience for Sports Direct and its boss Mike Ashley, but it hasn't stopped him from continuing to look around for suitable acquisitions.
Not long after buying control of Jack Wills, it has emerged that Ashley is one of the bidders for distressed Links of London.
The Greek-owned jeweller has been struggling for some time and Sky News reported that Sports Direct is one of only two final bidders left in the race to buy the chain.
That news comes a few days ahead of Sports Direct’s annual meeting, which is expected to be a lively affair with institutional investors predicted to register some protest votes at the event. It may not get them very far, however, as Ashley is the controlling shareholder in the company.
Twenty-nine-year-old Links is currently owned by Folli Follie Group and, like some of the other acquisitions Ashley has made, could be an important brand in his strategy to try to turn around house of Fraser.
Buying distressed labels is a strategy major rival Philip Day has also followed, although with his business empire being privately controlled, Day hasn't been in the public eye quite as much as Ashley has. He owns Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger, Berwin & Berwin, Bonmarché and Austin Reed and a large number of other labels.
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