Mike Ashley fails in court bid to trigger investigation into Debenhams

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Mike Ashley

Controversial retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley has failed in his bid to trigger an investigation into the financial affairs of British department store chain Debenhams – which has spent several months in administration.

Lawyers representing Ashley’s Frasers Group, which owns nearly a third of Debenhams’ shares, asked a judge Mark Mullen to appoint a liquidator to begin inquiries into the firm. Mullen refused at a hearing on Wednesday.

The judge said neither other Debenhams’ shareholders nor creditors were aware of the application and revealed that he would reconsider the issue at another hearing in the future.

Debenhams has been in administration since April, for the second time in about 12 months.

Judge Mullen said Frasers Group had issued a winding up petition but that no decision has been made about whether this would be granted.

More to follow.

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