Sports Direct now has a 12.7% interest in Debenhams

Sports Direct now has a 12.7% interest in Debenhams

Sports Direct has raised its stake in UK department store retailer Debenhams, taking owner Mike Ashley's shareholding to 12.7%.

The sports retailer yesterday (6 November) sold a 4.6% stake acquired early last month for around GBP33m. At the same time, however, it entered into a 'put option' agreement to buy a 6.1% stake. This will activate should the Debenhams share price fall to a certain level.

As a result, Sports Direct now has a 12.7% interest in the rival retailer, up from 11.22% previously.

In its filing, Sports Direct said: "As previously announced, Sports Direct continues to work together with Debenhams and looks forward to building a long-term relationship."

In January, Sports Direct International, owned by Newcastle United football club owner Ashley, sold its 4.6% stake in Debenhams just days after purchasing it.

The purchase was made without the knowledge of the Debenhams board. Sports Direct had said it wanted to "explore options" at an operational level to work with Debenhams to "create value in the interests of both Sports Direct's and Debenhams' shareholders".