Aug 24, 2020

Mike Ashley buys long-time rival's business out of administration

Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley has bought a number of gyms and sports shops from his rival and long-time critic Dave Whelan after they fell into administration. Mr Ashley's Frasers Group said it would buy "Certain" assets from DW Sports Fitness for £37m, but would not be using the firm's brand name. The deal is reported to be a strategic win for Frasers, which owns a host of other brands including Lillywhites, Evans Cycles and House of Fraser. Mr Ashley later reported Mr Whelan's JJB Sports business to the Office of Fair Trading, alleging it was involved in a price-fixing scheme over football shirts. The OFT issued multi-million pound fines to those involved, including JJB. Mr Whelan, 83, a former owner of Wigan Athletic football club, created DW Sports in 2009 when he bought 50 JJB Sports fitness clubs and the adjoining shops out of administration.

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