Sports Direct boss steps down after House of Fraser takeover

Irving Hamilton
September 13, 2018

Meanwhile Wolverhampton Council has confirmed it is continuing its own talks with the landlords who own the Beatties site in the city centre.

Mr Bentley said: "It's been discussed, but do you think when you have the job of handling House of Fraser right now that you might have your hands full". "If there are opportunities in the future we would be in a position to take advantage", Bentley said. "It is important that a building as iconic as that should not be left standing empty - that is not an option".

Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of sportwear retailer Sports Direct, leads journalists on a factory tour at the company's headquarters in Shirebrook, Britain, September 7, 2016.

Bentley headed for the exit after the retailer's annual shareholder meeting alongside chairman Keith Hellawell, who has served for almost nine years and been on the receiving end of shareholder concerns about corporate governance failings and the power wielded by its billionaire founder and chief executive, Mike Ashley.

Instead the company chairman, former top cop and "drugs czar" Keith Hellawell will be facing the music.

Glass Lewis, the investor advisory group, accused the board of "poor governance" and urged investors to vote against the re-election of Hellawell, Bentley and Ashley.

Hellawell, a former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and government drugs tsar, narrowly survived a bid to oust him a year ago. The House of Fraser store in Edinburgh's West End is due to close this month.

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The groups said their concerns about corporate governance had not been resolved.

It is not clear whether Hellawell, a controversial figure who has been under pressure from major shareholder advisory groups, had the support of independent shareholders who had voted before the meeting, because the motions to reappoint both Hellawell and Bentley were withdrawn just before the meeting.

Mr Murray has been charged with leading the overhaul of Sports Direct's property portfolio, part of Mr Ashley's plan to make the company the "Selfridges of sport".

The judge has now ordered Sports Direct to produce a number of documents wanted by the Financial Reporting Council.

Shareholders may also be offering their views on the company's decision to buy House of Fraser.

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