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Mike Ashley gives Sports Direct £40m loan

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley has bankrolled Sports Direct’s Christmas by providing a £40m loan to help the retailer buy jeans, hoodies and tracksuit bottoms.

Sports Direct opted to borrow the money from its biggest shareholder – Ashley owns a 57% stake – in October to buy Christmas stock as it was cheaper than tapping banks for the cash.

According to The Times, the loan was at market rates, meaning that Ashley, who topped the Drapers Top 100 list for 2014, could have earned as much as £50,000 interest.

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