Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is examining the possibility of launching legal action against Debenhams, after its controversial company voluntary arrangement was approved earlier this month.

A source close to Sports Direct said the company is currently speaking to a number of third parties, including landlords, about launching a possible joint legal challenge to the CVA, according to City AM.

“The CVA votes, with one receiving 95% support and 97% for the other, bear more resemblance to the presidential elections in North Korea than they do to a fair, open and honest process,” the source said.

Ashley saw his near-30% stake in Debenhams completely wiped out, which cost him and his Sports Direct group at least £150m.

The Sports Direct tycoon has been highly critical of almost every aspect of the Debenhams administration process.

In April, Ashley wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority to complain that Lazard, the firm in charge of trying to sell Debenhams, was not conducting a “genuine” sales process.

He also accused the department store chain’s lenders of planning to seize control through a pre-pack administration and said the Debenhams board had “unwittingly or otherwise” played its part “through incompetence, or worse, collusion”.

He labelled the collapse of the chain as “nothing short of a national scandal – and one that could so easily have been avoided if Debenhams had chosen to engage with its largest shareholders constructively rather than obstructively”.

Former chief executive Sergio Bucher has left the business and been replaced by executive chair Sir Terry Duddy.

Some 1,200 staff will be affected by coming store closures at Debenhams, but the business has said it will redeploy staff where possible.