Sports Direct shares drop as M&A boss departs

Catherine Neilan
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Mike Ashley: Sports Direct shares dropped this morning (Source: Getty)

Sports Direct's share price was down more than four per cent this morning after it emerged that its mergers and acquisitions boss Jeff Blue is leaving the company.

Blue, a former Merril Lynch banker, was hired two years ago to spearhead takeover deals for Mike Ashley's high street behemoth.
He was also standing in as finance director for Bob Mellors, who has not been replaced since he left for personal reasons last year.
Blue, who had been involved in Sports Direct's investments in Debenhams, is not renewing his contract, the Times reports.
A spokesman told the paper: “Jeff is employed by Sports Direct until the end of March.”
Ashley is also facing increased pressure regarding the administration of USC, which resulted in several redundancies at the start of the year.
And at least one analyst believes it is Ashley's Rangers association that is harming Sports Direct's share price.
Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said “a brace of bad news” about the club had hit the retailer's stock.
"Firstly, auditor Deloite has raised questions over whether Rangers' operating company can continue as a going concern, while, secondly, a venue has finally be found for its March 4 extraordinary general meeting.
"This is being called by South African former director Dave King who hopes to oust the board, with the new venue needed after the original London hotel pulled out on fears of being swamped by angry supporters. Could another Mike Ashley bet be at risk?"

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