Sports Direct denies Office takeover

Mike Ashley's sports clothing company Sports Direct says it is not considering an offer to buy Office

Sports Direct
Sports Direct

Sports Direct has denied recent rumours regarding a potential acquisition of shoe retailer Office.

The sports clothing company, founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, said in a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange: “Sport Direct International plc, the UK’s leading sports retailer, would like to address recent trade speculation regarding Office - one of the UK’s leading specialist footwear retailers.

“Nothwithstanding recent speculation, Sports Direct confirms that it is not considering an offer to acquire Office.

“Such speculation is unhelpful to the customer, staff, supplier and other stockholders of both companies, particularly as Sport Direct focuses on building brand support for the group’s premium lifestyle format - USC/Republic.

“The board believes that maintaining strong brand relationships is a strategic priority for Sports Direct, particularly given the difficulties that the competition authorities appear to have in addressing the supply issues faced the group.”

The statement from the retailer, which has over 400 stores across the UK, comes in advance of a vote on Sports Direct’s £200m bonus scheme.

As reported in the national press earlier this week, shareholders are expected to reject the bonus scheme.

A total of 18% of Sports Direct’s 38% free float is expected to vote against the pay package at the shareholder meeting on July 2.

Ashley is currently the majority shareholder of Sports Direct, with a 62% holding in the business.

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