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Drapers Share Monitor - Ashley moves to oust Blacks' board

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley this week heightened controversy surrounding the company by threatening to call an EGM to oust the board of Blacks Leisure.

Ashley, who owns a 29.4% stake in the outdoor retailer, is unhappy at plans for a possible sale of boardsports chain Freespirit. Some observers believe that Ashley, previously tipped as a buyer for Freespirit, wants to stall a sale until his veto on bidding for the whole group runs out in mid-August.

Blacks is standing firm on its review of Freespirit. Blacks' shares rose 25.75p to 308.75p. Sports Direct shares fell 13.5p to 193p.

Meanwhile, department store chain Beales blamed poor footfall on interest rate rises and a challenging environment, as pre-tax profit more than halved from £2m to £875,000 for the 26 weeks to April 28. Shares were flat at 65p.

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