Mike Ashley's Frasers Group buys Hugo Boss stake

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German fashion company Hugo Boss is seen at a store in Vienna, Austria, November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

LONDON (Reuters) - Mike Ashley's Frasers Group FRAS.L, formerly Sports Direct, has taken a 5.1% stake in German fashion house Hugo Boss BOSSn.DE through stocks and derivatives, continuing his drive to take the British sportswear and apparel retailer upmarket.

Frasers said on Friday the investment reflected its growing relationship with Hugo Boss and belief in its long-term future.

“Frasers Group intends to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group’s and Hugo Boss’ shareholders,” it said.

Ashley’s long stated desire is to make Frasers the “Selfridges of sport”, emulating the status of the department store on London’s Oxford Street. Buying other businesses and strategic stakes forms part of that plan.

He bought department store chain House of Fraser in 2018, which counts Hugo Boss as a supplier, as does Frasers’ Flannels chain.

Frasers said it had purchased 120,000 shares of Hugo Boss common stock, 140,000 shares of common stock via contracts for difference, and 3.29 million shares of common stock via the sale of put options.

The group said that after taking into account the premium it would receive under the put options, its maximum aggregate exposure in connection with its acquired interests in Hugo Boss is about 97 million pounds ($121 million).

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Stephen Addison