Dec 13, 2017

Sports Direct investors block £11m award to Mike Ashley’s brother

Sports Direct shareholders have rejected an attempt by the retailer to award £11m in back pay to the elder brother of its founder, Mike Ashley. Mike Ashley, who holds a controlling stake in Sports Direct, abstained from the vote and had previously admitted that he expected to lose it. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it would "Respect the views" of its shareholders and hoped they would "Welcome the steps taken to reassure them that John Ashley did not benefit inappropriately from being the brother of majority shareholder Mike Ashley." It added that the board now "Considers all these matters to be closed". The RPC review found that, unlike his peers, John Ashley did not receive a £5m bonus related to Sports Direct's 2007 flotation and was excluded from a performance-related share award worth £6.8m. It also found that John Ashley, who has since been re-hired by Sports Direct, could have received at most £167,000 from the Barlin arrangement. Mike Ashley said in a statement last month that "If John had owed one pound to Sports Direct, I would have ensured any sum was repaid in full".

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