Ashley to stand down as Frasers Group director, will provide £100m funding
Mike Ashely, the founder of Sports Direct and latterly The Frasers Group, is to relinquish his directorships in the business. And as a departing gesture, he will provide the group with an additional £100 million in support funding.
The group has formerly announced that Ashley will not be standing for re-election as a Director at this year's Annual General Meeting and he will therefore step down from the board on the conclusion of the AGM on 19 October. However, the still-majority shareholder will continue to be available in an advisory capacity, it noted.
Meanwhile, the additional funding Ashley will provide reflects his “continuing strong support for the business and its elevation strategy”. It will be alongside and on the same commercial terms as the group's existing unsecured borrowing facilities that were announced on 1 December 2021.
His stepping down could be seen as a ringing endorsement for Michael Murray, his chosen replacement as chief executive in May. The promotion has seen Murray begin to build bridges with City financiers and stakeholders following an often fractious relationship with his former boss.
Ashley said: "Since [he] took over the leadership of Frasers Group earlier this year, the business has gone from strength to strength. It is clear that the group has the right leadership and strategy in place and I feel very confident passing the baton to Michael and his team.
“Although I am stepping down from the board, I remain 100% committed to supporting Frasers and Michael's plans and ambitions, and I look forward to helping the team as and when they require me. My commitment and support as a Frasers' shareholder is as strong as ever."
Murray added: "Mike has built an incredible business over the past 40 years and I want to thank him for all he has done. With our new strategy and leadership team, we are driving this business forward at pace and we are all excited for the future. We are grateful to have Mike's support and expertise available to us as we continue the next stage of Frasers Group's journey."
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