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CONSUMER PRODUCTS & SERVICES | Sporting Goods
dwsports.com

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About DW Sports

DW Sports is a British retail and fitness business.On August 24th, 2020, DW Sports was acquired by Frasers Group.4M.

DW Sports Headquarter Location

Whelco Place, Enfield Industrial Estate Enfield Street

Wigan, England, WN5 8DB,

United Kingdom

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Latest DW Sports News

What does Mike Ashley own? Inside the Frasers Group owner's retail empire

Jun 1, 2022

Inside the Frasers Group owner's retail empire The shopping tycoon's business interests range from sportswear to underwear and from fashion to furniture Frasers Group owner Mike Ashley Sign up to FREE email alerts from BusinessLive - Retail & Consumer - all the results, acquisitions and trends every Friday Something went wrong, please try again later.Invalid Email Subscribe We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Thank you for subscribing!We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Mike Ashley's company Frasers Group has gained a solid reputation for its high profile business dealings. The retail mogul - estimated to be worth around £2.14bn - has taken full advantage of the lengthy retail crisis by snapping up struggling firms and adding them to his ever growing list of businesses. The tactic has led to Mr Ashley greatly expanding his hold on the high street and he is often seen as one of the few businessmen making money at a time when traditional retailers are struggling against online stores and declining footfall. His aggressive tactic of buying struggling firms has not always worked out for him though. He lost a great deal of cash by investing in department store chain Debenhams. Despite being the company's biggest shareholder even Mr Ashley could not win over the company's creditors and when trouble hit the firm, it was forced to enter administration. The process wiped out Mr Ashley's stake in the company. Debenhams aside Mr Ashley still has an extensive retail empire, including many shops and designer names you might not have known were his. (Image: PA) Mulberry The group first bought its 12.5% stake in Mulberry in February, saying the purchase was part of a “key strategic priority” to elevate Frasers Group’s retail proposition and build “stronger relationships with premium third-party brands”. The firm announced the purchase of a further 7.12% stake after splashing out £6.5m on the acquisition of more than four million shares from Icelandic company Kaupthing ehf, paying £1.50 per share. Sports Direct Sports Direct is the backbone of Mike Ashley's retail empire, with the retail tycoon owning a 61% stake in the sports wear retailer. The firm was founded in 1982 and is now listed on the London Stock Exchange. Mr Ashley has also purchased a number of brands such as Slazenger, Karrimor, Lonsdale, Kangol and Everlast, which are sold in Sports Direct stores. Frasers Group Plc replaced the name Sports Direct as the overarching parent firm, and vehicle he uses to buy more businesses. (Image: PA) Jack Wills Jack Wills was added to Mr Ashley's portfolio after Sports Direct bought the retailer in a pre-pack administration dea l in August 2019. Founded in Salcombe, Jack Wills had been struggling for some time and its situation worsened when its owner Bluegem Capital Partners refused to invest more money in the firm. Will Wright, partner at KPMG, who advised on the sale and acted as administrator, said: "Jack Wills has a strong brand and proud British heritage, so it is pleasing to have been able to secure this agreement with Sports Direct." (Image: PA) Game Digital Video game seller Game Digital was taken over by Sports Direct in 2019. Mike Ashley held a stake in Game for some time and had quietly increased his stake in the business over the last few years. The listed video game retailer was sold completely to Sports Direct in a takeover deal worth around £52m . Mr Ashley has said in the past that he could use video games as a hook to bring people into physical stores. USC Clothing retailer USC was initially founded in 1989 in Edinburgh and specialises in sportswear.Sports Direct picked up an 80% stake in the company in 2011, when it was sold by Sir Tom Hunter. The chain was later merged with Republic, when Sports Direct acquired the brand out of administration. (Image: Flannels) Flannels Flannels is Mike Ashley's luxury chain selling brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana. New store openings have taken place across the UK, including Sunderland and on Newcastle's Northumberland Street, where the firm spent £31.6m for the building that houses the brand, amongst other retail tenants. Read More Sofa.com Mike Ashley won a bidding war to buy online furniture retail Sofa.com. The deal was completed despite stiff competition from Sunderland's ScS. The company has nine physical show rooms, including some in House of Fraser. It later emerged that Sports Direct acquired Sofa.com for just £1. (Image: Liverpool Echo/James Maloney) House of Fraser House of Fraser's takeover by Mike Ashley has been the businessman's most high profile deal to date. When the department store chain entered administration, Sports Direct bought it for £90m and vowed to keep 80% of its stores open. But since then Mr Ashley has went back on his promise claiming that the financial situation at the company was far worse than he realised, adding that store closures would have to occur. Mr Ashley went as far as describing the situation at House of Fraser as "terminal". House of Fraser still operates online and has 41 stores, having closed four since the takeover. (Image: Getty Images) Evans Cycles Bike chain Evans Cycles was bought by Sports Direct when its financial situation was in dire straits. Evans operated around 60 stores and employed around 1,300 people when it entered administration in 2018.Mr Ashley was hit with widespread criticism when he declared that he would close half of Evans' branches in an effort to cut costs. Everlast and Sports Direct Fitness gyms In the fitness sector Mike Ashley owns more than 30 gyms. According to Mash Holdings most recent accounts Mr Ashley owns six Everlast gyms as well as a further 26, which are run under the Sports Direct Fitness brand. Mike Ashley and a branch of lingerie chain Agent Provocateur (Image: Daily Mirror and Carl Court/Getty Images) Agent Provocateur In March 2017, Mike Ashley increased his portfolio when he bought lingerie chain Agent Provocateur. The company had 10 stores in the UK and employed around 600 people when it was taken over. It was reported Mr Ashley paid around £25m for the firm when it was purchased by Four Holdings, a company one-third owned by the billionaire businessman. It has 40 stores and concessions around the world, including 12 in the UK. Read More Lillywhites Lillywhites sells football and running kit as well as outdoor footwear and accessories. In the past Mr Ashley has talked about bringing Lillywhites into department store chains to reach a wider customer base. Sweatshop Trendy running shop Sweatshop, previously described as an "associate" of Sports Direct, was acquired by the group during the 2017/18 financial year. Sweatshop is officially known by the company name Brasher Leisure. The running chain operates seven stores across the UK. Goals Soccer Centres Sports Direct owned a stake in five-a-side football pitch company Goals Soccer Centres. The company was embroiled in a major scandal after it was uncovered that it had a £12m black hole in its accounts relating to VAT payments it should have made to HMRC. The problems have been going on for nearly a decade and the company said it has uncovered "improper behaviour" within the firm that had led to the problem. The company was sold to Northwind 5s Ltd in 2019, backed by private equity firm Inflexion and Soccerworld, which runs five centres in Scotland and England. A DW Sports store at Forge Retail Park in Telford, as the sports retailer and gym group said it is to tumble into administration, with 1,700 employees at risk. (Image: PA) DW Sports Retail chain DW Sports was acquired in August 2020 when Frasers bought certain assets from its competitor for £37m.Administrators said 43 of DW Sports’ 73 gyms and 31 of its 50 shops transferred to the group. The rest of DW Sports’ stores were closed - but it's possible some may be reopened by Frasers Group in time. The Psyche store on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. Picture by Tom Banks (Image: Tom Banks - banks-photo.co.uk) Psyche The serial entrepreneur snapped up Middlesbrough designer clothes firm Psyche in an undisclosed deal in January 2021, several years after its owner initially turned down a buyout offer. Psyche owner Steve Cochrane, who has owned the company for 38 years, will remain with the company following the deal, saying it secures the future of the bricks and mortar store, the online operation and the 58 employees. In June, it was announced that Psyche was to close, with the firm set to be rebranded to Flannels. Studio Retail Group Studio Retail Group owed more than £80m when it collapsed into administration but was sold to Mike Ashley's Frasers Group for just £1, documents revealed earlier this year. Paperwork submitted to Companies House by administrators Teneo showed the total consideration for the group was £1 as well as the release of £53.1m of secured liabilities under its revolving credit facility and ancillary facilities. Frasers Group then acquired Studio Retail Group's secured lenders' claims against it for c.£26.8m. More than 1,400 jobs were saved at the firm - one of the biggest online retailers in the UK selling clothing, footwear, homeware, and Christmas ranges - after it was acquired in February. Missguided Mike Ashley's retail empire snapped up troubled fast fashion brand Missguided in a £20m rescue deal. The fashion firm collapsed into administration after suppliers accused the business of millions of pounds worth of outstanding payments. Missguided will continue to be operated by administrators for a transition period of around eight weeks. After that, the company said it then intends to continue to run Missguided as a "standalone" brand within its group. Property Mike Ashley owns a lot of property across the UK and beyond, including buildings housing his retail chains. One of the more recent deals was for Boucher Shopping Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a deal which forms part of Frasers Group's strategy to invest in bricks-and-mortar property. . . . But he did eventually sell Newcastle United (Image: PA) Mike Ashley made his first foray into the world of sport when he bought Newcastle United from Sir John Hall in 2007. Fans of the club protested his ownership of the football team, believing he didn't invest enough money in the club to allow it to compete. After spending several years trying to sell the club he finally succeeded in a deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund in a £305m deal. Read More Related Articles

DW Sports Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

DW Sports acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was Fitness First on December 21, 2017.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

12/21/2017

$99M

Acquired

1

Date

12/21/2017

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Total Funding

Note

Acquired

Sources

1

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