Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct added another 4.6% to its stake in Debenhams. Retail Week looks at what the City thinks of the move.

“We believe that the logic for this move by Sports Direct could stem from their encouraging, albeit early stage sportswear trials in two Debenhams stores. A larger Debenhams stake may raise both Sports Direct’s operational and financial exposure to this theme.” Richard Edwards, Citi

“Investors have been averse to the group’s M&A activity in our view as it does not conform to the predictable pattern best liked by retail followers. But we would point to the value created for shareholders over time by the aggregate of the group’s various strategies. If Sports Direct was not aggressive it would not now be on the point of becoming a major international force.” Tony Shiret, Espirito Santo

“Debenhams’ shares have been notably weak, so Sports Direct shareholders will be hoping that Mike Ashley isn’t throwing good money after bad, by increasing Sports Direct’s stake to c.11%. What sort of business relationship with Debenhams he is after is unclear, beyond a few more Sports Direct concessions, but Debenhams will no doubt reveal all at their finals on October 23.” Nick Bubb, independent analyst

Sports Direct ups stake in Debenhams to 11.2% as its rolls out concessions