Mike Ashley’s Frasers Boosts Hugo Boss Exposure, Buys ASOS Stake

  • Frasers directly owns 4.3% of Hugo Boss shares
  • Holds 28.5% via put options
  • Frasers confirms ASOS owns more than 5%

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group (FRAS.L) has increased its maximum exposure to German fashion house Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE) to 840 million pounds ($954 million) and has built a more than 5% stake in struggling British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L).

Frasers, formerly called Sports Direct, is moving upmarket and said on Monday it now owns 4.3% of Hugo Boss shares directly and another 28.5% through the sale of derivatives called put options.

A Frasers spokesperson also confirmed a Telegraph report that the British clothing and sportswear retailer now owns more than 5% of ASOS.

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A stake above 5% would require a regulatory filing by ASOS. The company declined to comment.

Last Wednesday, ASOS, the former British star of the shift to online fashion retail, said it would overhaul its business model after the economic crisis and a series of operational issues have weighed on its profits.

Frasers first took a stake in Hugo Boss – a supplier to its House of Fraser and Flannels chains – in 2020.

“Frasers Group has a long history … of strategic investments to develop relationships and partnerships with other retailers, suppliers and brands,” he said, adding that he had “big ambitions” to grow. in the UK and beyond.

The group this month unveiled a 4.5% stake in online clothing retailer N Brown (BWNG.L) and is also seeking full ownership of Australian online retailer Mysale (MYSL.L).

In June, Frasers acquired ASOS rival Missguided for £20m. It also bought online retailer Studio Retail in February.

ASOS shares rose 2.5% at 0827 GMT, cutting 2022 losses to 78%. Shares of Frasers rose 0.6% while shares of Hugo Boss rose 0.2%.

Ashley resigned as chief executive of Frasers in May and was replaced by his son-in-law Michael Murray, but still owns 69% of Frasers’ capital.

($1 = 0.8804 pounds)

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Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Goodman and David Holmes

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