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Sports Direct to cut back on stakebuilding

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has said that the sportswear group will 'do less strategic stakes' in other companies.

According to The Times, Ashley said that Sports Direct's stakebuilding in other companies, such as its stakebuilding in rivals JJB Sports which is being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading over potential competition issues, was more trouble than it was worth.

Sports Direct holds a stake of around 22% in JJB Sports, as well as stake in JD Sports and Blacks Leisure.

Ashley told the newspaper that the stakebuilding did not take away the main focus of the business but increased speculation from press and investors which was difficult for a public company.

It is unclear whether Ashley intends to offload Sports Direct's existing stakes. A spokeswoman declined to give details but confirmed that Sports Direct was planning to reduce stakebuilding going forward.

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