Sports Direct founder nets 106 mln stg in share sale

LONDON Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:07am EDT

LONDON Oct 24 (Reuters) - Sports Direct International founder Mike Ashley cashed in on the rise in the sports goods retailer's stock on Wednesday by selling 16 million shares for 106 million pounds ($171 million).

The shares, which represent 2.7 percent of the group, were sold for 662.5 pence each, a near 7 percent discount on Wednesday's close, the company said on Thursday.

The sale leaves Ashley, deputy chairman of the group and the owner of soccer club Newcastle United, with a 61.7 percent stake, worth 2.63 billion pounds at Wednesday's closing price.

Shares in Sports Direct have risen by 57 percent in the last six months. They were trading 5.4 percent lower at 673.5 pence on Wednesday, the biggest FTSE 100 index faller.

Sport Direct, which has 400 British stores, said on Wednesday that sales had risen 15.1 percent in the nine weeks to Sept. 29.

The shares were sold to institutional investors by Goldman Sachs. ($1 = 0.6185 British pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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