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Sports Direct International PLC Add to portfolio

LON250:SPD, Dec 14, 11:04 UTC

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Sports Direct Partners with Open Commerce Platform Reaction Commerce

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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Reaction Commerce, the fastest-growing open source commerce platform for modern retailers and brands, today announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Sports Direct International plc, one of the world's leading sporting goods retailers and operator of a diverse group of sports, fashion and luxury stores. Sports Direct is Reaction's first large-scale, global client for its full-stack commerce platform and managed services, and will use Reaction to build out its future-proof, flexible commerce engine to realize their vision of what is possible in commerce. "We've been on the hunt for a new commerce platform for more than a year, as recent growth and acquisitions mean that our once state-of-the-art platform no longer fits the ambitions, scale, or trajectory of the Group," said Sports Direct International plc Head of Elevation, Michael Murray. "Sports Direct was looking for a solution capable of streamlining legacy operations and providing customized online shopping experiences across its hundreds of brand websites. Reaction delivers just that with a modern, open platform that can power Sports Direct International's commerce evolution by enabling them to deliver the exact experience they envision to customers worldwide."

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Debenhams turns down Sports Direct loan offer

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LONDON, Dec (Shanghai: 600875.SS - news) 13 (Reuters) - Britain's Sports Direct has offered a 40 million-pound ($51 million) loan to Debenhams , the struggling department store group in which it holds a near 30 percent stake, according to a letter from Mike Ashley published by the Daily Telegraph. Debenhams (Frankfurt: D2T.F - news) , which confirmed the letter was authentic, said it had declined the offer. "However, as the offer came with conditions that could affect the interests of other stakeholders, while the board does not think it could accept the proposal, as presented, it has invited Sports Direct to engage as part of our broader refinancing process." Ashley, who has a majority stake in Sports Direct, said he was not surprised by Debenhams turning down his offer, given that the group had never supported any assistance from its biggest shareholder, but he was concerned the board did not appreciate the position it was in. "There isn't any good news out there. In this context, I can't see how our headline proposal to provide a 40 million pound interest-free loan and inject some additional equity could possibly be seen or portrayed as a negative in any shape or form."

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Is now the perfect time to pile into Sports Direct International?

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Sports Direct International(LSE: SPD) has crashed from a peak of 815p just over three years ago to 270p today, losing two thirds of its value amid infighting and controversy. However, buying troubled companies like chief executive Mike Ashley’s vehicle can make you seriously rich, if you get your timing right. The FTSE 250 company is down another 2% today after publishing its first-half results to 28 October that revealed a 26.8% drop in underlying profit before tax to £64.4m. The market response has been mild because everybody knew Ashley was taking on a challenge with House of Fraser. As he said today: “The previous House of Fraser senior management team traded the business whilst it was insolvent for a long time, this means we have significant challenges ahead in turning House of Fraser around”. Street fight. Ashley was keen to hail the success of the wider group, which he says is impressive amid current high street struggles, and said underlying EBITDA should remain in its previously communicated growth range of 5%-15% by year end, although “including House of Fraser we expect to be behind last year’s result”. Ashley is either brave, crazy, or something you might chant at a football match but I wouldn’t write here.

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Sports Direct counts cost of House of Fraser rescue

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The group also injected £70m into the department store's supply chain and Mr Ashley admitted that he faced "significant challenges" turning around its fortunes. The Sports Direct chief executive said: "I have made my views clear that I believe the previous House of Fraser senior management team traded the business whilst it was insolvent for a long time. "This means we have significant challenges ahead in turning House of Fraser around. Sports Direct bought 169-year-old House of Fraser out of administration in August and Mr Ashley said he aimed to keep 80% of its 59 stores open - though has since said that to do so would be a "godlike" feat. Earlier this month, Mr Ashley told Sky News that House of Fraser could be merged or "should at least work very closely together" with rival Debenhams, a company in which Sports Direct owns a 30% stake. But there was no mention of that suggestion in the latest statement.

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Sports Direct defies UK retail downturn with earnings rise

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LONDON, Dec (Shanghai: 600875.SS - news) 13 (Reuters) - Sports Direct, the British sportswear retailer controlled by Mike Ashley, reported a 15.5 percent rise in first-half core earnings, excluding acquisitions, helped by its strategy to move its brand upmarket. The group, which purchased department store chain House of Fraser in August, said on Thursday it made underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 180.3 million pounds ($227.6 million) in the six months to Oct (Shenzhen: 000069.SZ - news) . 28. Ashley said the performance was impressive in the context of the current struggles in the sector and showed its "elevation strategy continues to go from strength to strength." Some 61 percent of Sports Direct's equity is owned by Ashley, its billionaire founder and chief executive, who also owns English Premier League soccer club Newcastle United. The core business was on track to meet its target of growing earnings by 5-15 percent in the full year, it said, but it added that it expected the House of Fraser acquisition to result in a drop in full-year earnings.

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Monday, December 03


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Mike Ashley calls for online sales tax to revive high street

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Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley has urged the government to tax online retailers as he put up a spirited defence of his own retail operation in front of MPs today. In a fiery appearance in front of a parliamentary committee the retail tycoon said “web boys” that make over 20 per cent of their retail revenue online should be taxed to help resuscitate traditional high street shopping. Ashley, who acquired struggling department store House of Fraser, said his proposal would motivate retailers to drive the majority of their businesses through physical stores to avoid the tax. “It won’t be there unless you do something really radical and grab the bull by the horns.”. Ashley, who has clashed with MPs before over conditions at Sports Direct warehouses, said he refused to be painted as a “pantomime villain” for his actions at the company and restated his intention to make House of Fraser the “Harrods of the high street”. In addition to an online sales tax, Ashley called on local councils and landlords to help revive the British high street. Ashley said free business rates for five years, a 50 per cent reduction in base rent rates and free car parking for customers could all be crucial in saving brick and mortar stores.

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Sports Direct International PLC (LON250:SPD) social chatter is higher than usual

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Mike Ashley has said on Sky News that Debenhams need to do a CVA and says "debenhams and House of Fraser could merg… https://t.co/tjg2AKDkO7
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UK retail needs internet tax "shock", says Sports Direct boss

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LONDON, Dec (Shanghai: 600875.SS - news) 3 (Reuters) - The British government should levy a tax on retailers with online sales accounting for more than 20 percent of revenue to save traditional shopping districts, the billionaire boss of Sports Direct told lawmakers on Monday. “You have to tax the internet for the good of the high street, the good of the all," Ashley told the lower house of parliament's Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee. "If I’m a retailer ... I will make sure not to pay the tax, I keep 80 percent of my revenues going through the high street," he said, noting that Sports Direct has a 400 million pounds ($510 million) internet business. He said that, if the new levy came in, it would make sense for Sports Direct and retailers in general to invest in and keep stores open. With (Other OTC: WWTH - news) annual revenue of about 3.36 billion pounds, Sports Direct currently would not be liable for the tax Ashley proposed. Ashley also called on local councils to offer retailers free business rates (property taxes) for five years if every pound of free rates was matched by retailer investment in the site.

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It's not my fault the high street is dying, Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley tells MPs

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(c) Sky News 2018: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/its-not-my-fault-the-high-streets-dying-mike-ashley-declares-11570981">It's not my fault the high street is dying, Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley tells MPs</a>Sky News3 December 2018, 20:18 GMT. The Sports Direct tycoon told a Commons select committee that he was "not Father Christmas" as he was questioned about how many stores could be kept open. But he did say that he was attempting the "godlike" feat of saving 80% of them while also offering policymakers a prescription to save the wider retail sector. Mr Ashley's takeover of the 169-year-old House of Fraser chain saved it from administration but has still left the future of thousands of staff in doubt as the billionaire tycoon seeks to slash store rents, in many cases by around half, to keep them afloat. Speaking to MPs earlier, Mr Ashley bristled at attempts to present him as a villain as he also batted off controversy about zero-hours contracts - which he said many workers prefer.

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