Comment: It’s not the riskiest deal Mike Ashley's done
Mike Ashley once boasted he had “balls of steel”. Frankly, for anyone else to spend £45 million on shares in Debenhams after its Christmas drubbing, you’d need them.
But, because this is Ashley’s empire doing the deal, it’s a far less risky punt. Sports Direct isn’t just pile-’em-high tennis socks at 90p a pair — it also owns designer boutiques in the North selling “Wags’ favourites” such as Gucci, Lulu Guinness and Victoria Beckham.
Further down are its mid-market fashion chains USC and Republic stocking Diesel, Levi’s, Hilfiger. Designers at Debenhams’ ranges could do well through those stores. Top-five shareholder status would do Ashley no harm when negotiating such a deal. Meanwhile, Ashley’s brands such as Lonsdale, Dunlop, Slazenger and Firetrap could easily find new customers in Debs’ stores.
Ashley was disappointed not to buy House of Fraser in 2012. Now HoF is heading into the arms of Galeries Lafayette, Debenhams, with its shares in the discount basket, looks a far less ballsy bet.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: 'All passengers' under investigation, police say
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
iJobs Money & Business
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ban...
£35000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A top, City ba...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED : Reach Volunteering: Fantastic opportuni...