Mike Ashley fixes his sights on collapsed upmarket fashion retailer LK Bennett
- LK Bennett fell into administration last week, putting almost 500 jobs at risk
- Ashley has put forward an initial offer for the collapsed retailer
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing an LK Bennett dress
Mike Ashley has made a grab for LK Bennett just days after it crashed into administration.
In the latest effort to add to his sprawling retail empire, the 54-year-old Sports Direct tycoon put forward an initial offer for the collapsed upmarket fashion retailer, according to the Financial Times.
Administrators for LK Bennett – a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge – are thought to have made presentations to potential buyers this week in a race to save the business. The company fell into administration last week, putting almost 500 jobs at risk across its 39 stores, 37 concessions and at its head office.
Ashley’s plan to seize LK Bennett comes after he paid £90million to bring House Of Fraser out of administration last year.
He paid a further £10million for Evans Cycles months later and also bought online furniture firm Sofa for an undisclosed amount.
The Newcastle United owner has built up a £1billion war chest to buy struggling firms, latest accounts for his business interests show.
The billionaire is trying to manoeuvre an audacious power grab at Debenhams, where he has already thrown out former chairman Sir Ian Cheshire and booted chief executive Sergio Bucher off the board.
He is Debenhams’ largest shareholder but wants to install himself as chief executive and step down from the top job at Sports Direct, which he founded in 1982.
Ashley could not be reached for comment last night.