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Sports Direct share buyback faces investor backlash

Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley could face a shareholder revolt at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) this Wednesday, as investors object to a proposed share buyback plan.

3028041 sports direct exterior

3028041 sports direct exterior

Investors including Aberdeen Standard Investments are reportedly planning to vote against the proposals, amid concerns the move would allow Ashley too much control over the business.

This comes as Ashley ups his stake in luxury fashion business Flannels – he now controls 75% of the shares, up from 51% previously. The shares were previously owned by Neil Prosser, the chain’s founder.

Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell also faces pressure at the AGM, where several investors are reported to be preparing to oppose his re-election.

The Times reports that Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), Royal London Asset Management and Standard Life Aberdeen all said they would oppose Hellawell’s re-election. Advisory firms including Glass Lewis are also said to be advising shareholders to oppose the move, according to City AM.

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