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Mike Ashley ups stake in Blacks

Speculation is growing that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley is targetting a takeover of rival Blacks as the sportswear tycoon increases his stake in the struggling outdoor retailer.

Ashley grew his share in Blacks from 14.5% to 21% on Friday. Analysts have suggested that Ashley could be gearing up for a takeover bid for Blacks.

The Sports Direct tycoon pulled out of a bid for the outdoors retailer last year amidst concerns that key suppliers to Blacks, including North Face, would not deal with him.

Shares at Blacks have plummeted following its update this month, where like-for-likes sales plunged 9.7% in the 19 weeks to July 9. FinnCap analyst Dave Stoddart reduced his valuation of the retailer to just 1p per share. The retailer’s target price is 11.5p.

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