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Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group plots stake in two UK shopping centres

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Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group is reportedly closing in on two shopping centre deals, one of which includes a 50 per cent stake in the King’s property company as the retail behemoth looks to grow its physical estate.

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group is reportedly closing in on two shopping centre deals as the retail behemoth looks to grow its physical estate. 

Frasers, which is majority owned by the fashion tycoon, is understood to be “frontrunner” for a 50 per cent stake in Exeter’s Princesshay estate from Nuveen, The Times reported on Tuesday. 

Nuveen put its stake in the shopping centre up for sale last year for a reported asking price of £40m. 

The other half of the scheme is owned by The Crown Estate, which belongs to the monarch.

Last year, Frasers bought The Mall shopping centre in Luton for £58m deal and the Overgate centre in Dundee for £30m. 

More recently, the FTSE 100 retailer bought Junction 32, an outlet shopping centre near Castleford, West Yorkshire, for £50m. 

A separate report by Costar said Frasers is eyeing a purchase of Frenchgate, the 768,000 sq ft shopping centre in Doncaster. 

It has been thought that Ashley is keen to snap up malls and fill them with Frasers’ own brands, such as Jack Wills, Sports Direct, and Flannels. 

City A.M. has contacted Frasers and Nuveen for comment. 

Frasers is one of Britain’s biggest retail success stories, with the brand having built a name for itself, acquiring troubled brands. 

In its most recent set of results – which pertained to the six months ending 29 October – the firm posted record earnings, with profit before tax rising by eight per cent and turnover rising 4.4 per cent to £2.8bn.

Retail tycoon Mike Ashly stepped down as the boss of Frasers in 2022, but still remains involved in the running of the business. He is also the retailer’s largest shareholder with a 73 per cent stake in the company. 

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