Mike Ashley’s retail empire Sports Direct International plc has announced it has bought a 4.8% stake in an online fashion firm.
The Newcastle United owner’s firm made the announcement in a snap statement on the London Stock Exchange after the stock closed, detailing how it acquired the stake in MySale Group Plc, which has recently started trading on the AIM.
The firm said: “Sports Direct looks forward to developing its relationship with MySale, including the potential to co-operate on significant collaboration and joint venture opportunities in Australasia and Asia.
“This partnership approach is consistent with Sports Direct’s strategy in other regions and the Group believes that MySale is ideally suited to help realise Sports Direct’s multi-channel potential in Australasia and Asia.”
MySale is a website that runs flash clearance sales for fashion brands and has 10.8 million members, with established operations in Australia, New Zealand and south-east Asia. It has indicated it will launch a UK-site later this year.
It holds up to 60 flash sales a day offering discounts on fashion, homeware and cosmetics for a short period of time and members are told of sales by email.
The business suffered from a pricing blunder on its AIM debut, when an error meant it accidentally ran a flash sale of its own shares.
The Australian-headquartered company, backed by Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, priced its shares at 226p last week.
However, last Monday they were mistakenly listed at £2.26, which some automated trading programmes on City trading floors interpreted as 2.26p, triggering a selloff.
The mistake proved to be costly for the company, with shares losing more than a quarter of their value in early trading to reach a low of 166p. The mistake also wiped more than £5m off Green’s holding.
In a statement, the company said: “The MySale Group plc’s trading currency is currently in GBP, as opposed to British pence as intended.
“For clarification, the placing price was 226 pence versus the quoted GBP price today of £2.26.”
It’s not known how much Sports Direct paid for the 4.8% – but one of the firm’s founders cashed in his 8% stake for £24.5m as part of the placing