Ashley’s summer shopping spree continues: Tycoon takes 5% stake in Boohoo just a day after snapping up a slice of Currys
Mike Ashley has continued his summer shopping spree with the purchase of a 5 per cent stake in Boohoo.
His company Frasers Group swooped on the fast-fashion brand just a day after snapping up a slice of Currys.
The firm has also built up stakes in AO World and Asos this month.
It marks yet more empire-building by the 58-year-old tycoon, whose stable of brands includes Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Flannels.
The investment raises questions of what Ashley – who is still the majority owner of London-listed Frasers Group after handing the reins over to his son-in-law Michael Murray two years ago – is planning.
Big spender: Mike Ashley’s company Frasers Group swooped on fast fashion brand Boohoo just a day after it took a holding in Currys
Addressing this week’s investments in Boohoo and Currys, a spokesman for Frasers said: ‘Driving growth through strategic investments is a core part of Frasers’ DNA.
‘We have a clear strategy to identify opportunities to invest in businesses which complement our existing sport, premium and luxury businesses.’
The spokesman said Boohoo was an ‘attractive proposition to us with its laser focus on young female consumers’ and there was an opportunity for collaborations with I Saw It First and Missguided, two other brands Frasers already owns.
They added that the investment in Currys was ‘a valuable opportunity to build on our foothold in the electricals industry’ following the company buying a 21.3 per cent stake in AO World last week.
There was also potential for further collaboration between Currys and Frasers’ home shopping company Studio.
Frasers shares were flat at 712p, Boohoo fell 2 per cent, Currys gained 2.2 per cent, Asos dropped 3.5 per cent and AO World added 1.2 per cent.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Frasers Group is putting its fingers into more retail pies, snapping up slices of companies which have proved unappetizing for investors in recent years.’
She said that while its ‘elevation strategy’ saw it make investments in high-end brands such as Flannels and Hugo Boss, it clearly still saw the importance in more mainstream businesses.
Streeter added: ‘As lives of younger generations are increasingly spent online, through entertainment and shopping habits, Frasers Group sees upping stakes in these companies as providing channels into those markets.’