Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has become the latest victim of House of Fraser’s woes after it emerged that he has written off £11 million from the value of his stake in the stricken retailer.
Ashley’s firm Sports Direct owns 11 per cent of the department store chain, whose fortunes have declined rapidly. Last week, it announced it was closing 31 stores, including its flagship Oxford Street branch.
Ashley has filed documents that reveal he has written down the value of the stake based on recoverability. Market sources said that may represent the entire value of the holding.
Ashley’s firm Sports Direct owns 11 per cent of the department store chain, whose fortunes have declined rapidly
Sports Direct was not available for comment.
Ashley has already clashed with House of Fraser over its plans to cut the number of its outlets by more than half to just 26. He said the retailer had failed to give him information about the plans.
The House of Fraser closures are expected to put 6,000 staff out of work and have triggered an angry backlash from landlords. But managers at the chain said they had no choice.
House of Fraser chief executive Alex Williamson has promised to carry on paying rent on stores until after Christmas, but admitted the situation was ‘grim’.
Other retailers are under threat of closure amid a high street malaise that has accelerated sharply over recent months.