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19 Nov 2020 | 09:38

Frasers Group ups stake in Mulberry to 37%, mulls bid

(Sharecast News) - Mike Ashley's Frasers Group has upped its holding in luxury brand Mulberry to 37% and is considering a possible takeover, it confirmed on Thursday. The FTSE 250 group, formerly Sports Direct, has acquired 4,335,720 shares from Iceland's Kaupthing at 150p per share. Combined with its existing holding, the deal raises Frasers' total holding in Mulberry to 22.1m shares, or just under 37%.

Under the Takeover Code, when a person or group acquires a 30% stake in a company, they must make a cash offer for the remaining shares.

Frasers said the Takeover Panel had issued it a waiver on the rule, because larger shareholder Challice - the investment vehicle of Singaporean businesswoman Christina Ong - already holds 56%.

But it reserved the right to make a voluntary offer, and said it would either make an offer or walk away by 17 December, the 28-day period allowed for a so-called put up or shut up.

Along with Sports Direct, Frasers also owns department store House of Fraser, fashion brand Jack Wills and Evans Cycles, among others. It first bought a stake in Mulberry in February, before upping that to just shy of 30% earlier this month.

As at 1115 GMT, shares in Frasers were largely flat at 475.0p, while Aim-listed Mulberry jumped 9% to 206.0p.
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