Mike Ashley resumes shopping spree with Findel move

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is to launch a £139.2 million takeover bid for home shopping company Findel as the retail tycoon continues his acquisition spree.

Sports Direct said it has agreed to acquire six million shares in Findel at 161p each, taking its holding to 37% and above the 30% threshold that triggers a mandatory bid under UK takeover rules.

The bid for the remaining shares will also be at 161p, valuing the group at £139.2 million.

Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, has been in acquisitive mood of late, snapping up House of Fraser and Evans Cycles out of administration, while also bidding for the likes of HMV and Patisserie Valerie.

The latest tilt comes after a successful pilot selling Sports Direct-licensed clothing brands on Findel’s websites and a strengthening of commercial supply arrangements between the duo.

“Sports Direct continues to recognise the value and quality of the Findel business, and sees the offer as an opportunity to give increased support to Findel to maximise the value of its existing business.

“The offer is an effective way of expanding the commercial arrangements between Sports Direct and Findel, and giving Sports Direct increased exposure to the future growth of the Findel business,” the firm said in a stock exchange announcement.

Findel is behind website Express Gifts – which sells clothing, greeting cards, gifts, home and garden items – and Findel Education, a supplier of educational resources in Europe.

The firm reported revenues of £479 million and a profit before tax of £22.1 million for the year ended March 30 2018.

Shares in Findel were up more than 7% at 174p in morning trade.

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