By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- Shares in Frasers Group (LON:FRAS) slipped on Tuesday after the retail empire of Mike Ashley said he will step down from the board next month.
The group said Ashley will not stand for re-election at this year's annual general meeting on October 19th. He will remain available to the board in an advisory capacity. The move completes a process that began with Ashley handing the chief executive role to his son-in-law Michael Murray earlier this year.
Frasers' stock slipped 2.3% by 04:15 ET (08:15 GMT), underperforming a FTSE 100 that edged up by 0.1% as the U.K. market reopened after the holiday for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.
The shares have now lost all of the gains they made since July when the group announced surprisingly large profits for the last fiscal year and raised its guidance for the current one.
Ashley, who made his fortune with the Sports Direct chain before branching out into more premium names such as House of Fraser, will inject 100 million pounds ($115 million) of funding into the group as he leaves. This will run alongside and on the same commercial terms as the company's existing unsecured borrowing facilities that were announced in December last year.
The money will go to fund the group's Elevate strategy, a broad, multi-year move upmarket that is expected to require 1 billion pounds of investment.
Ashley and Murray have used the relatively strong cash flows of Sports Direct to make a series of opportunistic acquisitions as the pandemic wiped out some of its weaker rivals. Its latest target is Australian-based e-commerce specialist MySale, which rejected a buyout offer from Frasers last week.