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MPs seek clarification on Ashley’s BHS bid

MPs are seeking further clarification on Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley’s bid for BHS, as the inquiry into the department store chain’s collapse continues.

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley

Iain Wright, chair of the business, innovation and skills (BIS) select committee, has written to Ashley to ask why the deal did not proceed and whether there had been any discussions with former BHS owner Sir Philip Green or his advisors in relation to the purchase.

It comes after Retail Acquisitions boss Dominic Chappell told the committee Ashley was prepared to inject equity into BHS provided that there was an agreement on the pension scheme with the Pensions Regulator. Chappell said Green found out and blocked Ashley’s bid.

Chappell is the majority shareholder of Retail Acquisitions, which acquired BHS from Green in March 2015 and owned it at the time it fell into administration earlier this year.

Ashley confirmed to BIS select committee during a separate inquiry into the employment practices at Sports Direct on Tuesday last week (June 7) that he did want to acquire BHS.

Green is set to appear before MPs on Wednesday.

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