Mike Ashley buys Jack Wills out of administration for £12.75m

Mike AshleyMike Ashley’s Sports Direct have acquired designer clothing brand, Jack Wills, for £12.75m. The purchase will see all of Jack Wills’ UK and Ireland assets and stores move over to Ashley’s high street portfolio.

Ashley beat retail rival Philip Day in the deal to bring the struggling company out of administration.

Jack Wills’ 100 stores and distribution centre will now add to Ashley’s growing number high street brands, including House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and sofa.com.

However, his attempts to acquire Debenhams, HMV and Patisserie Valerie were unsuccessful.

Suzanne Harlow, Jack Wills’ chief executive, said: “For the past year, we have been focused on improving the Jack Wills proposition and the group’s financial performance.

“Despite significant progress, the challenging trading environment led us to conclude that the company’s long-term future would be best served as part of a larger group and Sports Direct will enable us to do this.”

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Like many other retailers, the Jack Wills had recently experienced mounting cash flow pressures amidst some of the most difficult trading conditions seen on the high street in years.

“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.”