Mike Ashley’s audacious bid for Australian fashion firm MySale is rejected in his latest clash with arch-rival Sir Philip Green
Clash: Philip Green and Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley’s audacious bid for the Australian fashion firm MySale was rejected yesterday in his latest clash with arch-rival Sir Philip Green.
The tracksuit tycoon’s 2p per share offer was snubbed as ‘materially undervaluing’ the business.
Ashley and Green are the AIM-listed firm’s two biggest shareholders, owning a combined 45 per cent of the business.
They bought into the flash-sale specialist when it joined the London Stock Exchange in 2014, but Ashley dumped his stake five years later after a rift opened up between the pair. Green held on to his stake, despite its value being almost totally wiped out .
Ashley then became MySale’s biggest shareholder when he bought a 28.7 per cent stake this summer.
At the time a friend of Green’s said Ashley ‘does not know what he’s doing’.
Weeks later Ashley made an offer through his Frasers Group to pick up those shares in the business he does not own for £13.6m – or 2p each.
Frasers said it wanted to use MySale to boost growth in Australia and New Zealand and to clear out unsold stock.
But his offer has been rejected by the MySale board. When Green invested in the business shares were worth 226p, meaning he would take a loss of around £80m if the takeover was approved.
MySale said Ashley’s bid was a quarter below the company’s value the day before it was made and noted it was the lowest offer he could have made under City takeover rules. Retail analyst Nick Bubb described the bid as ‘cheeky’.
MySale said Ashley’s offer was not ‘fair and reasonable’ and told shareholders to vote against it.
But MySale’s rejection was undermined when chairman and founder Carl Jackson stepped down over his decision to back Ashley’s bid. Jackson is MySale’s fifth-biggest shareholder, with a 10.6 per cent stake. He is being replaced by senior director Charles Butler.
MySale buys excess stock from retailers in Europe and sells it cheaply online in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.