// Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group almost doubles stake in Hugo Boss from 5.1% up to 10.1%
// Frasers Group previously said the investment reflects growing relationship Hugo Boss
// Hugo Boss is a supplier for House of Fraser and Flannels, both owned by Frasers Group
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has nearly doubled its shareholding interest in Hugo Boss, less than a month after buying an initial stake in the upmarket German fashion house.
Ashley’s retail empire announced yesterday 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 grown from 5.1 per cent earlier this month to 10.1 per cent.
Frasers Group said its maximum aggregate exposure was about €204 million (£186 million) after factoring in the premium it would receive under the put options.
Frasers Group previously said its investment in Hugo Boss reflected its growing relationship with the fashion retailer and brand and belief in its long-term future.
The news prompted shares in Hugo Boss to rise by 1.8 per cent this morning, while Frasers Group’s shares edged up by 0.2 per cent.
“This investment reflects Frasers Group’s growing relationship with Hugo Boss and belief in Hugo Boss’ long-term future,” the firm said in a statement.
“Frasers Group intends to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group’s and Hugo Boss’ shareholders.”
Ashley has previously stated his desire to use his brands under Frasers Group to create the “Harrods of the high street”, or the “Selfridges of sport”, and his acquisitions and investments in other businesses in recent years form part of that plan.
The plan also consists of rolling out the new Frasers concept, a luxury offshoot of House of Fraser, which Frasers Group acquired in August 2018 in a £90 million pre-pack administration deal.
Earlier this year that Frasers Group said it had signed a 65,000sq ft space for a brand new Frasers store within Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, replacing the two-storey House of Fraser site.
The House of Fraser flagship in Glasgow operates under the Frasers name, but plans are in place to redevelop it into the new flagship site of the upmarket fascia.
Belfast, Liverpool and Wolverhampton have also been confirmed as sites for new Frasers stores.
Meanwhile, Hugo Boss is a main supplier for House of Fraser, along with stablemate Flannels.
Earlier this year, Frasers Group snapped up a 12.5 per cent stake in luxury accessories retailer Mulberry.
Frasers Group also acquired Jack Wills last year, and also operates Evans Cycles and the flagship chain Sports Direct, and has a stake in French Connection.