Leading sports retailer Sports Direct has acquired a 4.63 per cent stake in department store Debenhams.
The retailer, which was founded by billionaire Mike Ashley, now owns 56.8m shares in struggling Debenhams.
Debenhams said in a statement that it was “open minded” with regards to explore opportunities to improve its performance. Sports Direct said it would be a “supportive shareholder.”
The department store experienced a plunge in shares of more than 12 per cent in January after it released disappointing Christmas results.
Sports Direct continues to be successful in the UK sportswear market and posted a 23.5 per cent rise in H1 profits. The sportswear brand has previously been linked to buying a minority interest in House of Fraser.
Debenhams Chief Executive Michael Sharp said the market environment had been “extremely difficult” which had an impact on sales and profitability.