Sports Direct has increased its investments in Umbro-owned Iconix Brand Group and doubled its stake in retailer Finish Line.

The Mike Ashley-owned sporting specialist has further increased its investment into the two businesses after upping its stakes last month.

The retailer, which is holding its stakes through contracts for difference, now controls 13.25% of Iconix Brand Group, up from 12.23% and 18.85% of Finish Line, up from 9.21%.

Building relationships

A statement from Sports Direct said: “The main rationale for these stakes is to allow Sports Direct to hopefully build a relationship and develop commercial partnerships with the relevant parties.

“They also help the company to build relationships with key suppliers and brands.”

This is the latest in a slew of investments by the retailer, ranging from US retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods to French Connection and Debenhams, in which it holds 11% and 17% stakes respectively.

Sports Direct also confirmed its acquisition of US outdoors specialist Eastern Outfitters in April.