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Sports Direct International takes stake in French Connection

Staff Writer |
Sports Direct International has snapped up an 11% stake in French Connection Group.

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The sporting good retailer took out a contract for difference over 10.7m shares, or 11.156%, of the fashion retailer's shares, it reported on Thursday just before noon.

Ashley has a reputation for taking stakes in other retailers out of the blue.

Three years ago last month, the billionaire Newcastle United owner acquired a 4.6% stake in struggling department store Debenhams, before three days later selling it to Spanish fund manager Bestinvur and instead taking out a "naked" put option agreement with the Spaniards over a larger 6.6% stake, a move that confused the markets.

A year later Ashley agreed a put-option deal with Goldman Sachs over a 10.5% stake in Debenhams, then in May last year, Sports Direct extended its bet on Debenhams and reiterated that it would be a supportive shareholder in the department store chain.

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