Mike Ashley's MASH sells its stake in Rangers International

Mike Ashley's investment vehicle MASH Holdings Limited (MASH) has sold its entire shareholding in Rangers International Football Club PLC (RIFC).

Mike Ashley. Picture: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images
Mike Ashley. Picture: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images

The shares have been bought by supporters’ group Club 1872 Shares CIC and by Julian Wolhardt, the CEO of a Hong Kong-based private equity firm.

Each has acquired one-half of the shares previously owned by MASH.

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Club 1872’s acquisition takes its shareholding in RIFC above 10 per cent.

A spokesperson for Club 1872 said: “We are delighted that our members’ support for Club 1872 has brought us to a point where we can acquire those shares and complete the process of restoring control of RIFC to those who view the footballing success of Rangers FC as being just as important as RIFC’s careful stewardship financially.

“Club 1872 allows Rangers supporters to help safeguard the future of our Club. Taking our shareholding above 10% puts us well on our way to that goal. Our next ambition is to reach out to those Rangers supporters who are not already members of Club 1872 and encourage them to join. Together we can achieve great things for our Club.”

Club 1872, formed just over a year ago, is an umbrella body which bringing together a number of Rangers supporters groups.

Wolhardt, 44, is the CEO of Dehong Capital Partners.

Prior to establishing DCP in 2017, Mr. Wolhardt spent ten years at KKR, a leading global private equity firm, as a Partner and Regional Leader. Before joining KKR, Mr. Wolhardt was responsible for the China business at Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, worked in the Mergers and Acquisition Group of Lazard Freres & Co. in the United States and started his career at Coopers and Lybrand.

Wolhardt said: “I am delighted to become an RIFC shareholder.

“I have a long held love for Scotland and football and I am keen to see Rangers FC unlock its considerable commercial potential. With the successful restructuring of the retail operations, RIFC is now on a firm financial footing and I look forward to being a part of its exciting future.”