Sports Direct board has 'discussed combining Debenhams and House of Fraser'

Marco Green
September 13, 2018

Sports Direct last month said that its board had agreed that CEO Ashley, who owns 61 percent of the sportswear retailer, would not be required to attend the meeting in central London because of "overriding demands for his time".

Meanwhile Wolverhampton Council has confirmed it is continuing its own talks with the landlords who own the Beatties site in the city centre.

But he added: "If any of you had the job of handling House of Fraser right now, I think you might have your hands full, and incidentally we've also got Sports Direct".

"If there are opportunities there in the future, then we will be in a position to take advantage. It is important that a building as iconic as that should not be left standing empty - that is not an option".

The chair of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum welcomed the exit of Hellawell and Bentley and called on Daly to commission an independent review of Sports Direct's employment standards and corporate governance.

"Having overseen significant improvements in the working practices and corporate governance of the company, which includes a refresh of the board, now is the right time for me to step aside", Mr Hellawell said.

Instead the company chairman, former top cop and "drugs czar" Keith Hellawell will be facing the music.

Ahead of the meeting, three shareholder advisory bodies are said to have told investors not to support Mr Hellawell's re-election.

Hellawell, a former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and government drugs tsar, narrowly survived a bid to oust him previous year.

This refers to his work on House of Fraser, which has seen him visiting numerous stores in person as he negotiates with landlords to try and save around 80 per cent of the 59 stores.

A total of 9.8 per cent of investors voted against Mike Ashley's re-election at the Sports Direct AGM.

The groups said their concerns about corporate governance had not been resolved.

Mr Hellawell's retirement followed last year's meeting where he was re-elected by just 53% of independent shareholders.

In addition, Mr Murray has been made Sports Direct's "head of elevation", and has been tasked with building the company's relationships with high-end brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma.

The regulator began an investigation into Grant Thornton's audits of Sports Direct in 2016 after it...

The Takeover Panel has been forced to intervene after a Sports Direct director caused confusion by saying the retailer has considered buying Debenhams - before insisting he did not intend to make the comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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