MIKE Ashley today pocketed more than £110 million after a shares sale reduced his stake in retail chain Sports Direct.
The Newcastle United owner, who is involved in a boardroom battle over troubled Scottish football club Rangers, secured the windfall by offloading 2.5 per cent of the company’s shares, leaving him with a 55 per cent stake worth £2.4 billion.
Mr Ashley, who is deputy executive chairman, has not received a salary or bonus since he netted £929 million in the company’s flotation in 2007.
He also sold shares worth £204 million in April, when the company’s share price was trading at a record high of more than 900p. Today’s sale price of 720p a share compared with last night’s close of 760.5p.
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The disposal of shares comes amid speculation that Mr Ashley has offered a loan of about £10 million to Rangers, although the Scottish Football Association has rejected his request to increase his stake above 10 per cent.
Sports Direct operates more than 400 stores in the UK and has seen a rapid rise to become a FTSE 100 company since being founded by Mr Ashley in Maidenhead in 1982.
Last year, Mr Ashley gave up his right to a potential multi-million pound windfall after an incentive scheme came under fire from investor lobby groups as well as the Institute Of Directors.
He has agreed not to sell any further shares in Sports Direct for a period of 170 days.
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