Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct claims it has been asked by shareholders to lead a revolt against Debenhams refinancing plans which could wipe out existing investors.
The stricken department store group has been given the go-ahead to raise £200 million from its creditors in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.
Sports Direct owns 30% of Debenhams but faces losing its equity under the plan, which would also involve reducing rents and closing stores and could mean going into administration.
In a statement, Sports Direct said: “Sports Direct has been contacted by a number of other shareholders in Debenhams plc regarding the protection of Debenhams shareholders’ interests and expressing their support for the appointment of Mr Mike Ashley as Debenhams CEO.”
An offer from Ashley of £150 million in return for the resignation of almost the entire Debenhams board and his installation as chief executive has been refused. Ashley stated last week that he was ready to pay 5p per share to take over but has not made a concrete offer.