Mike Ashley-owned Sports Direct has revealed it has taken an 11.5% stake in US sports firm Iconix and a 2.3% stake in Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

Sports Direct, which last week issued a profits warning, has taken an 11.5% stake in Iconix, which owns the Umbro and Lee Cooper brands.

It has also secured a 2.3% stake in Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has more than 500 stores in the US.

The retailer 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.”

Sports Direct last month faced a wave of fresh controversy over its alleged employment practices. As a result, Mike Ashley will carry out a review personally of working conditions.

Ashley also pledged to pay staff above the minimum wage and vowed to make Sports Direct the best retail employer behind John Lewis.