Sports Direct buys 4.6 pct stake in Debenhams

LONDON Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:19am EST

LONDON Jan 13 (Reuters) - Sports Direct, Britain's largest sporting goods retailer, has acquired a 4.6 percent stake in Debenhams, and said it wants to explore options "at an operational level" to work with the country's No. 2 department store.

"This acquisition of shares has taken place without the prior knowledge of the Debenhams board of directors, but Sports Direct has communicated to Debenhams' board its desire to work together and its intention to be a supportive shareholder," Sports Direct said on Monday.

Debenhams, which issued a profit warning last month, noted Sports Direct's purchase of shares and said it is "open minded" about working with the firm to improve its performance.

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