Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has won a £15 million court battle over a deal made during “a night of heavy drinking”.
Ashley was taken to court by investment banker Jeff Blue who alleged that the billionaire promised to pay him £15 million if he brought Sports Direct’s share prices up to £8.
The deal was allegedly made in the Horse & Groom pub in London’s West End, during a business meeting where large quantities of alcohol were consumed by the pair.
Despite his absence at the ruling, Justice Leggatt ruled that Ashley did not have to pay Blue after his admittance he did not remember making the deal and even if he did it would have been “obviously just banter”.
“I can’t remember the details of the conversations that we had in the pub as it was a heavy night of drinking,” Ashley said.
“If I did say to Mr Blue that I would pay him £15 million if he could increase (Sports Direct’s) share price to £8, it would be obvious to everyone, including Mr Blue, that I wasn’t being serious.”
The ruling will be a relief to Ashley who has endured a stream of controversies of late, stemming from last year’s workers’ rights scandal for his retail business.
During this court case Blue stated that Ashley once threw up in the fire place at a business meeting, and would often nap under tables at ones he found boring.