Nigel Atterbury gets £100 million windfall

Nigel Atterbury, the new boss of Sports Direct, could net £100 million from a deal that will take control of the group’s Scandinavian operations. He will be offered an 88 per cent stake in…

Nigel Atterbury gets £100 million windfall

Nigel Atterbury, the new boss of Sports Direct, could net £100 million from a deal that will take control of the group’s Scandinavian operations.

He will be offered an 88 per cent stake in Poltrona Nord, Scandinavia’s biggest sporting goods retailer, as part of a deal that will allow the group to gain control of one of its main subsidiaries, Sports Direct, also known as DFS.

The deal will hand Mr Atterbury — who has been credited with helping turn around the fortunes of E. On, a plumbing company he also runs — control of almost half of Sports Direct, which is currently headed by Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of the retailer.

The acquisition, which was confirmed on Tuesday, is the latest in a series of overseas investments that Mr Ashley has made since returning to control of the group.

In February, Mr Ashley agreed to buy a majority stake in Dick’s Sporting Goods, the sportswear retailer based in the United States.

Mr Ashley had a previous attempt to take control of Poltrona Nord collapsed in 2014, when his previous investment company collapsed into administration.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Sports Direct said it had increased its stake in Poltrona Nord from 58 per cent to about 88 per cent under the deal.

The deal will allow Mr Ashley to increase his stake in Sports Direct to 75 per cent, while bringing its majority shareholder, Mike Ashley, who has a 54 per cent stake, within 50 miles of Antwerp.

The group will also use the proceeds from the purchase to offset its indebtedness, which stood at £816 million at the end of December.

The latest deal will also give Mr Ashley three companies controlled by his family: Sports Direct Direct, Debenhams and House of Fraser. He will also receive a 49 per cent stake in another sports retail chain, Size?, following a sale of its Dutch operations to Poltrona Nord.

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