Sports Direct has reiterated it will remain a “supportive” shareholder of Debenhams after extending its bet on the department store chain. 

The Mike Ashley-controlled Sports Direct has lengthened by a year a so-called put-option deal it has over a 10.5% stake in Debenhams

The put-option is effectively a bet that Debenhams’ share price will rally. Sports Direct first took a 4.6% stake in the chain in January 2014. 

“Sports Direct reiterates its intention to be a supportive stakeholder in Debenhams and to create value in the interests of both Sports Direct’s and Debenhams’ shareholders,” the retailer said.

Sports Direct, which is reportedly eyeing collapsed chains BHS and Austin Reed, last month cut its stake in rival JD Sports.

Debenhams last month reported a 5.5% lift in half-year pre-tax profits as like-for-likes rose 1.1%. The chain is due to announce a replacement for chief executive Michael Sharp, who revealed last year his intention to step down.