Mike Ashley: Who is Frasers Group CEO, explained

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group bought fast fashion company Missguided out of administration after the company collapsed into administration.

The Frasers Group has built a solid reputation for high profile deals and Ashley has now added Missguided to its growing list of companies.

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But who is Mike Ashley and what is his net worth? Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Mike Ashley?

Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct International, and his ex-wife Linda arrive for a select committee hearing at Portcullis House on June 7, 2016 in London, England.

Ashley, 57, is a British billionaire born in Walsall, Staffordshire, in 1964. He was CEO of Sports Direct, owners of Newcastle United, and is currently CEO of Frasers Group.

In 1988, at the age of 24, Ashley married Swedish-born economist Linda Jerlmyr.

Together, the couple have three children, but they divorced in 2003. Their divorce resulted in one of the biggest settlements in British legal history, with Ashley reportedly handing over the family home, several pieces of land and assets totaling £50million.

Ashley is protective of his private life and is often spotted in casual clothes, carrying his belongings in a plastic tote bag rather than a briefcase.

What is his net worth?

According to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2021, Ashley is the 61st richest person in the United Kingdom with a net worth of £2.718 billion.

What companies and brands does Mike Ashley own?

In 1982 Ashley opened his first sports and ski shop in Maidenhead, followed by a few shops in London with a £10,000 start-up loan from his family.

The chain quickly expanded and by the late 1990s Ashley rebranded the chain to Sports Soccer and opened over 100 stores across the UK. Sports Soccer was converted into a limited liability company in 1999.

The company, now Sports Direct International Plc, has over 400 stores in the UK, with additional stores opening in Ireland, Belgium and Slovenia.

Sports Direct International then bought sports equipment brands Donnay and later Dunlop Slazenger for £40m.

Ashley’s company also acquired outdoor gear maker Karrimor, clothing brand Kangol, boxing brand Lonsdale and sporting goods brand Umbro. Most of these brands were bought by distressed sellers, similar to Missguided.

Ashley also has a 29.4% stake in UK outdoor retailer Blacks Outdoor Retail Ltd. involved.

Ashley was CEO of Sports Direct from 1982 to 2018 before the group was renamed the Frasers Group.

As of October 2014, Ashley also owned an 8.92% stake in Rangers International Football Club (RIFC). He was denied an increase in his stake in RIFC to 29.9% as he already owned a large number of Newcastle United shares and this would pose a conflict of interest.

What is Frasers Group plc?

Frasers Group, formerly known as Sports Direct International plc, is named after the House of Fraser department store chain.

Other retailers owned by the company include Jack Wills, Game, Lillywhites and Evans Cycles.

Ashley bought House of Fraser when it went into administration in 2018 for £90m cash and had an 11% stake in the company.

The Everlast, Lonsdale, Slazenger and No Fear brands are all owned by Fraser Group plc, making the company the largest sporting goods retailer in the UK and operating around 670 stores worldwide.

When did Mike Ashley buy Newcastle United?

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is pictured in the stands before the game against West Bromwich Albion during their Premiership soccer match at The Hawthorns in Birmingham February 7, 2009.

Ashley bought Sir John Hall’s 41.6 per cent stake in Newcastle United through his company St James Holdings on 23 May 2007 and had a 100 per cent takeover of the club in July 2007 for around £134m.

On 7 October 2021, Ashley sold Newcastle United to companies PCP Capital Partners, RB Sports & Media and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for £300m.

Why did Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group buy Missguided?

Missguided struggled for several years before falling into administration. The Frasers Group bought the intellectual property of retailer and sister brand Mennace for around £20million and said it intends to run Missgudied as a “distinct” brand within its group.

Michael Murray, Chief Executive of Frasers Group, said: “We are pleased to secure a long-term future for Missguided that will benefit from the strength and scale of Frasers Group’s platform and our operational excellence.

“Missguided’s digital-first approach to the latest trends in womenswear will bring additional expertise to the entire Frasers group.”

NationalWorld has written an explanatory text that delves deep into the Missguided administration and can be read here.

https://www.nationalworld.com/news/people/mike-ashley-who-is-frasers-group-ceo-what-companies-own-net-worth-buys-out-missguided-3718007 Mike Ashley: Who is Frasers Group CEO, explained

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