Mike Ashley sells stake in retailer

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NEWCASTLE United owner Mike Ashley’s sportswear group has sold its near-5 per cent stake in Debenhams days after making the share swoop.

Sports Direct International has instead struck a complex financial arrangement giving it the option to take a 6.6 per cent stake in Debenhams amid speculation Mr Ashley is lining up celebrity-sponsored sportswear ranges for the chain. Sports Direct raised eyebrows on Monday when it emerged the group had bought a 4.6 per cent stake in Debenhams, worth around £46m, in the wake of the department store’s recent profits warning after disappointing Christmas trading.

Debenhams has a store in Briggate.

Andy Thorburn of EMIS

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