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OFT clears Sports Direct stake in Blacks

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has ruled that Sports Direct’s shares in Blacks Leisure did not create any competition issues.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct won ownership of shares in Blacks last month after a High Court dispute over ownership of the stake with the administrators of collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

The OFT had been considering  whether a merger situation has been created as a result of Sports Direct owning the 29% stake. Sports Direct also owns outdoor retailer Field and Trek.

In March Sports Direct made a bid for Blacks but pulled out over concerns some suppliers would not work with Blacks under Ashley’s ownership.

Last month Blacks completed a £20m fundraising that Ashley had previously tried to block. His stake has now been diluted to 14.5% as Ashley did not take up any new shares.  

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