Sports Direct increases stake in Debenhams to 21%
UK-based specialist retailer Sports Direct International has increased its interest in department store chain Debenhams from the existing 19% to 21%.
Sports Direct first acquired 4.63% of the issued share capital of Debenhams in January 2014, followed by another acquisition round comprising an additional 4.6% stake in the company in October that year.
The latest stake increase will allow the company to have an enhanced voting interest of 21.04% in Debenhams, with 10.54% of the rights accruing from financial instruments.
Operating more than 240 stores across 27 countries, Debenhams declared a 6.4% decline in profit before tax from £93.8m in the first half of last year to £87.8m in its interim half-year results report earlier this year.
Its net debt reduced from £224.2m in the first half of last year to £216.9m.
The current move comes after Sports Direct increased its interest in retailer French Connection to 27%.
In addition, the company bought a 26% stake in video games retailer Game Digital.
Founded in 1982 and owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, Sports Direct reported an 11.7% revenue increase in its annual report for this year.
It saw a 6.3% increase in revenue from its UK sports retail business, while its international sports retail revenue rose by 38.0%.
The retailer invested £317m in property assets towards the implementation of its strategy to enhance its sports retail proposition.
Image: Debenhams' flagship store in Oxford Street. Photo: courtesy of Yuichi via Wikipedia.