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Sports Direct investors revolt over Mike Ashley bonus

Sports Direct has cancelled an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) after being unable to gain shareholder approval for a new bonus scheme that would see owner Mike Ashley pick up £72m-worth of shares.

The retailer was set to hold an EGM this Friday to consider its proposed executive bonus share scheme.

However the group has this afternoon issued a notice to say it had been cancelled.

Dave Singleton, non-executive director and chairman of the remuneration committee, said: “During our on-going discussions with institutional shareholders, it became apparent that, while we had the support of some of our largest shareholders, we had not been able to secure the requisite level of shareholder approval.”

He added: “While the board is disappointed that this resolution will not now be passed, we respect shareholders’ views. We remain convinced of the benefit of aligning Mike Ashley’s interests with those of all other shareholders.”

Singleton said the outcome was particularly disappointing given that a 60% majority voted in favour of the original scheme proposed in September 2012, however the company “narrowly missed” the required support for the supplemental executive bonus scheme.

Sports Direct said the board intends to seek shareholder approval for another bonus share scheme in 2015. It will be voted on at the AGM in September this year and eligible employees will include members of the senior management team including Ashley.

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