Sports Direct has splashed out £3.4m for a 4.7% stake in its struggling rival JJB Sports.
Sports Direct bought 11.9 million shares at 28.5p per share in rival business JJB Sports on Friday evening. The shares were newly issued.
Sports Direct also holds around 42.9 million shares in JJB Sports via contracts for difference.
Friday's acquisition has fuelled speculation Sports Direct could make a bid for JJB Sports. However, the sportswear retailer has previously held stakes in other listed companies including Blacks Leisure, without tabling an offer.
Sports Direct said that the stake acquisition was a "strategic investment" which was "consistent with the board's policy of making and retaining strategic investments where, and for as long as, the board believes the investment provides the company with the opportunity to gain a strategic commercial advantage".
JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie said the deal would "put JJB on a more secure financial footing and provide further flexibility for the board to take positive steps that provide stability for the group in this tough retail environment".