Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has doubled its shareholding interest in Hugo Boss, less than a month after buying an initial stake in the luxury brand.
The company announced that it had acquired 552,500 shares of common stock, 2,249,601 shares of common stock via contracts for difference, and 4,260,000 shares of common stock via the sale of put options.
This means Frasers Group’s’ stake in Hugo Boss has increased from 5.1% earlier this month to 10.1%.
Frasers Group said its maximum aggregate exposure was about €204 million (£186 million) after taking into consideration the premium it would receive under the put options.
Previously, Frasers Group said the new investment in Hugo Boss demonstrated its “growing relationship with Hugo Boss and belief in Hugo Boss’ long-term future“.
The news resulted in Hugo Boss shares rising by 1.8% this morning, while Frasers Group’s shares increased by 0.2%.
“Frasers Group intends to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group’s and Hugo Boss’ shareholders.”
Ashley likes to hold strategic stakes in businesses in which he has a close interest and he holds a near 30% stake in French Connection and previously held a similar sized stake in Debenhams.
Ashley latest investments have taken him more upmarket, perhaps reflecting his desire to “elevate” the House of Fraser department store brand and the rapid growth of his luxury chain Flannels. In February of this year he took a 12.5% stake in British luxury fashion accessories house Mulberry.
The Frasers Group’s brands include Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Jack Wills, USC, Sofa.com and Evans Cycles.