Apr 7, 2019

Sports Direct directs bitter salvo at Debenhams

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has launched a searing attack on Debenhams top executives, accusing them of a "Sustained programme of falsehoods" in an increasingly acrimonious battle for control of the struggling department store chain. In a remarkable public statement, Sports Direct has called for trading in Debenhams shares to be suspended, for two board members to undergo lie detector tests, and asked for industry regulators to investigate how the company is being run. Sports Direct already owns 29 per cent of Debenhams and Mr Ashley has been battling to be installed as its chief executive, as part of efforts to counter rival refinancing plans that would make the shares worthless. Sports Direct said Mr Ashley and two members of his team attended a meeting with Terry Duddy and David Adams from the Debenhams board, "Where it is considered misrepresentations were made to induce Sports Direct into signing a non-disclosure agreement locking them out of any ability to trade in the bonds or equity of Debenhams for a period of time". Sports Direct has made the offer conditional on Mr Ashley's becoming chief executive of Debenhams.

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