Sports Direct has made a takeover bid for online retailer Findel, valuing the business at just under £140m.

The sportswear giant, led by tycoon Mike Ashley, lodged the mandatory offer after snapping up another six million shares in the business this morning.

The purchase took Sports Direct’s stake in Findel to 36.8% – outstripping the 30% threshold that triggers a bid under the Takeover Code.

Sports Direct snapped up the shares at 161p each and has offered the same amount to gobble up the remainder of the business. The offer values Findel at £139.2m.

Should the acquisition go through, Findel would become the latest addition to Ashley’s growing retail stable.

The retailer rescued House of Fraser from administration in a £90m deal last summer and has swooped on Evans Cycles and

Ashley’s business also owns sizable stakes in Debenhams, Game Digital and French Connection.

Sports Direct has been an investor in Findel since September 2015 and currently holds a 29.9% stake, making it Findel’s largest shareholder.

The sports and leisure specialist has already piloted selling clothing products through Express Gifts’ website and said it has since “further developed the commercial supply agreements” between the two businesses.

Sports Direct said it “continues to recognise the value and quality of the Findel business, and sees the offer as an opportunity to give increased support to Findel to maximise the value of its existing business.

It added: “The offer is as an effective way of expanding the commercial arrangements between Sports Direct and Findel, and giving Sports Direct increased exposure to the future growth of the Findel business.”

Findel, which owns the Express Gifts and Findel Education divisions, made a pre-tax profit of £22.1m in its financial year to March 30, 2018 on revenues of £479m.