Mike Ashley’s empire becomes largest shareholder in troubled Boohoo
Looking ahead: Retail magnate Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley has become Boohoo’s largest shareholder after increasing his stake once again.
Retail tycoon Frasers Group, owner of Sports Direct, flannels and House of Fraser, increased its stake in the online fashion retailer from 10.4 per cent to 13.4 per cent, according to a regulatory filing.
That made him Boohoo’s largest shareholder, ahead of founder Mahmud Kamani, who owns a 12.5 per cent stake. Frasers is run by Ashley’s son-in-law Michael Murray, who took over last year.
The group first bought a stake in Boohoo in June, taking a 5 per cent stake, and has increased it several times over the summer. Boohoo has been seen as an attractive investment thanks to its “focus on young female consumers”, a Frasers spokesperson said at the time. Ashley, the former owner of Premier League football club Newcastle United, controls Frasers through his 72 per cent stake.
Frasers has swooped on several other companies in recent months, building a 10 per cent stake in Boohoo rival Asos and acquiring an 18.9 per cent stake in AO World, which it later increased to 22 per cent, making it in the largest shareholder.
In style: Boohoo also owns the Karen Millen brand, which has collaborated with model Elle Macpherson
The retail empire, which Ashley built from a single sports store in Maidenhead, also includes Jack Wills, Evans Cycles and menswear retailer Gieves & Hawkes.
Boohoo also owns the Karen Millen brand, which has collaborated with model Elle Macpherson.
It comes the same week Boohoo shares plummeted to an eight-year low after it cut its sales and profit forecasts.
Boohoo said sales in the 12 months to the end of February 2024 could be down as much as 17 percent from a year earlier.
It also said it expects annual profits of £58m to £70m, having previously forecast between £69m and £78m.
Revenue fell 17 per cent to £729.1m as it lost 2.2m customers and the number of orders fell by 5.1m to 23.2m.
Boohoo shares gained 1.1 per cent, or 0.33p, to 30.33p yesterday. Frasers added 2.2 per cent, or 17.5p, to 823p.