Frasers Group ups Hugo Boss stake to 10%
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has raised its interest in German luxury brand Hugo Boss to 10.1%.
The British retail group said Monday that it has 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.
The move significantly increases Frasers’ investment in Hugo Boss and it comes just weeks after it announced it had taken a 5.1% stake in the business.
After taking into account the premium it will receive under the put options, Frasers said its maximum aggregate exposure was about €204 million (£186m).
“This investment reflects Frasers Group's growing relationship with Hugo Boss and belief in Hugo Boss' long-term future. Frasers Group intends to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group's and Hugo Boss' shareholders,” the group said in a statement.
Hugo Boss shares rose 1.8% in early morning trade on Tuesday, while Frasers’ share price was up 0.2%.
Mike Ashley’s company, formerly known as Sports Direct, has a history of making “strategic investments”. The group has expanded its portfolio by acquiring distressed retailers in recent years and in February it bought a 12.5% stake in British handbag company Mulberry.
The investment marked a shift towards the luxury segment. Frasers, which owns Flannels, said earlier this year that repositioning its fashion empire towards “premium third-party brands” is a key strategic priority and is working on transforming a number of House of Fraser stores into a luxury mini-chain.
So far, Hugo Boss and Mulberry are the group’s most upmarket investments, joining a portfolio that also includes Flannels, Lillywhites, Donnay, Slazenger, Kangol, Karrimor, Lonsdale and French Connection.
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