Billionaire Mike Ashley snaps up fashion brand Missguided in $25 million rescue deal

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British sporting goods billionaire Mike Ashley swooped on another failing retailer, snapping up online brand Missguided after it entered UK insolvency proceedings.

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Ashley’s Frasers Group Plc agreed to pay £20 million ($25 million) for the intellectual property of Missguided and related companies, according to a statement Wednesday.

Missguided was founded in 2009 and sells clothes online to young women, targeting them via its 9.2 million Instagram followers. The retailer ran into difficulties as costs soared amid rising inflation and global supply chain snarl-ups. Surging energy and food bills mean consumer sentiment is also weakening as shoppers become increasingly selective about spending any disposable income.

The Times of London reported at the weekend that Boohoo Group Plc was in talks about a rescue deal.

Frasers was formed after Ashley’s Sports Direct chain bought the department store group House of Fraser in 2018. Ashley has garnered a reputation for taking over failing retailers and building up stakes in rivals.

Other Ashley investments have included video game retailer Game Digital and Jack Wills, an apparel supplier. He currently has a holding in Hugo Boss.

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