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Mike Ashley steps up legal battle following Debenhams fall out

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Mike Ashley, courtesy of Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP

Business tycoon Mike Ashley has reportedly stepped up his legal battle over the collapse of department store chain Debenhams.

The Sports Direct founder is said to be heading to court after his 180 million pound stake in the retailer lost value when the chain went bankrupt two years ago, according to The Mail on Sunday.

As seen in legal papers filed by Ashley’s Frasers Group, the company is now set to take the case to trial in May.

The group, which owns the likes of House of Fraser and Flannels, accused administrators at FRP Advisory of a “criminal offence” in their dealings with Ashley, alleging that his legal team “abused” their powers by “stifling investigation into the affairs” of Debenhams.

It follows a lengthy and rocky relationship between the retailer and Ashley, who lost his 30 percent stake in the company after trying to repeatedly take control of the business before and after its demise.

Since then, the businessman has filed a number of High Court applications and complaints to MPs in the hope of gaining an independent review of the company’s downfall.

Ultimately, the Debenhams brands and its website were sold to online retail group Boohoo in 2021.

It has since relaunched as an e-commerce retailer and has opened brick and mortar beauty stores in the UK.

Frasers Group
Mike Ashley