Mike Ashley, British retailer Frasers' founder and biggest shareholder, will likely step down as chief executive next year and be succeeded by Michael Murray, the group's "head of elevation", it said on Thursday.
Frasers Group took advantage of a rising share price last week to sell its entire stake in struggling French Connection. The company had a stake adding up to a 24.93% holding in the firm prior to the sale.
Frasers said on Tuesday it has increased its stake in German luxury fashion house Hugo Boss to 15.2% through stocks and derivatives, part of Ashley's ongoing drive to take the British sportswear retailer upmarket.
Frasers Group was reportedly racing to try to do a deal on Debenhams at the weekend, but reports also suggested that US-based Barneys owner Authentic Brands has both Debenhams and Arcadia in its sights.
Shoppers have shunned physical stores to avoid catching Covid-19, and accelerated a shift to online shopping that was underway before the pandemic. The effects are being felt throughout Britain's high streets.
Mike Ashley's Frasers Group confirmed on Monday that it’s interested in buying Debenhams even though the auction for the Department store chain has already ended and the chain is expected to close completely by March.
Debenhams may be preparing to go out of business, but Mike Ashley – who has coveted the department stores chain for years – still sees a chance he could win it and has made a last-minute approach to its advisers.