Shami Ahmed buys 5% of Warren's boxing promoter

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Shami Ahmed, the entrepreneur behind Joe Bloggs jeans, has turned his attention to a sports rights company with links to Frank Warren, the boxing promoter.

Mr Ahmed snapped up 5 per cent of Sports & Leisure, the AIM-listed group which is a major shareholder in Mr Warren's Sports Network business, last Friday. He is expected to confirm his shareholding today.

The sports rights group, which specialises in boxing, will this morning press Mr Ahmed to agree to a meeting, so it can ascertain why he is interested in the company.

One source close to the group said Mr Ahmed may see potential in leveraging Sports & Leisure's licensing and merchandising skills with his own Joe Bloggs clothing line.

Asked about his intentions yesterday, Mr Ahmed was coy. "I look at companies which I believe are undervalued and offer potential," he said, before adding: "There could be some interesting possibilities which we will look to explore. If I can benefit myself or my brands then I will look to do so."

Shares in Sports & Leisure rose from 7p to 8.12p on Friday, valuing the business at £2.4m and Mr Ahmed's stake at £120,000.

Sports & Leisure bought a 22 per cent stake in Mr Warren's company last year and has an option until 30 September to buy a further 28 per cent of it. Mr Warren is expected to take up an invitation to sit on the company's board later this year. Up to now, he has been running Sports & Leisure as a partnership deal while he served out a seven-year ban on being a company director. The ban was imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry for Mr Warren's role in the collapse of London Arena company in the early Nineties.

Sport & Leisure's clients include the world super middle-weight champion Joe Calzaghe. It made pre-tax profits of £163,000 last year, against a loss of £360,000 a year earlier.

Mr Ahmed, who mounted a failed bid for menswear retailer Moss Bros last year, said he was keen to amass a portfolio of stakes in undervalued companies.