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Mr Ashley founded Sports Direct more than 30 years ago and, even after selling off a 2.7% stake, still owns 61.7% of the company. The shares were sold at 662.5p, a 7% discount to yesterday’s closing price of 712p. Goldman Sachs handled the transaction and will sell the shares on to institutional investors.
Despite the market reaction, when a director sells a portion of their shares in a company is it not necessarily a negative indication; they may just want to release some cash. In February, Mr Ashley sold a 4.18% stake in the firm, netting £100 million. In September, the company was promoted to the FTSE 100, making it more attractive to institutional investors.
Yesterday, Sports Direct revealed a 15% increase in nine-week sales until the end of September. The company has stated it is confident it will achieve its full-year profit target.