Sports Direct has reported the Debenhams board to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with concerns that recent trading updates have “deliberately” misled investors about its finances, it has been reported.
A letter allegedly released by the Mike Ashley owned business, which owns a 30% stake in Debenhams, accused the department store of “being wildly optimistic, or at worst, being deliberately misleading, to the point that the board and chief executive have no place leading a PLC or in making public statements to the market”, according to the Telegraph.
A Debenhams spokeswoman said: “We reject these unfounded and self-serving complaints. Debenhams’ board has taken advice at every stage in order to ensure that its announcements have been consistent with the disclosure requirements. The company is seeking to execute a much-needed restructuring - in the interests of all stakeholders - while its biggest shareholder tries to undermine the process at every turn.”
Sports Direct has been contacted for comment, while the FCA declined to comment.
The company is understood to be weeks away from a deal with its lenders for £150m. Debenhams confirmed £40m of these facilities will refinance the £40m bridge facility announced on 12 February.
It comes after Sports Direct called for a general meeting of Debenhams to appoint Mike Ashley to the board of directors.