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Sports Direct's Ashley welcomes Odey support

09 January 2017 15:30

Sports Direct International chief executive and majority shareholder Mike Ashley has welcomed recent backing by the company's largest City investor - and responded by vowing to continue to concentrate on long-term goals in order to deliver value to shareholders.

Ashley, who was speaking following supportive comments by hedge fund boss Crispin Odey, said: "I am grateful for Crispin's recent comments about Sports Direct and I'm glad that we will no doubt continue to have an interesting ride together. I consider his backing to be highly significant at a time when others have been less forthcoming.

"I'm particularly pleased that we are in agreement over the fact that Keith Hellawell is the right man to help deliver further progress. We now intend to concentrate on our medium and long-term goals in order to deliver shareholder value through becoming the 'Selfridges of Sport'." Odey, whose company Odey Asset Management recently increased its holding in Sports Direct to above 5%, was quoted in The Times on Saturday as saying: "I'm very happy with him (Ashley): he's a natural winner. From our point of view we always like to find entrepreneurs to back and I am very happy to be buying anything on eight times' earnings, especially when they have a proven track record like Sports Direct."

Odey also confirmed in the interview that he had recently voted in favour of a resolution to re-elect Dr Keith Hellawell as chairman at the company's general meeting last week - and indicated that he will support him at the AGM later this year.

At 3:30pm: (LON:SPD) Sports Direct International PLC share price was +2.6p at 282.1p

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