Findel dashes Mike Ashley's hopes after selling Kitbag to American buyer

Kasmira Jefford
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Kitbag sells replica football shirts for teams including Arsena (Source: Getty)

Findel has offloaded its replica football shirt business Kitbag to an American firm for £11.6m, putting an end to Mike Ashley’s hopes of buying the subsidiary.

The home shopping retailer said it has completed the sale to Fanatics, a US sportswear firm, more than a year after putting the sports strip retailer on the market.

The company said it will use the proceeds to cut the group’s bank debt and to help drive further growth within the group's core businesses, Express Gifts and Findel Education.

The sale will deal a blow to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who bought a 19 per cent stake in Findel last year just months after failing to buy Kitbag.

The Newcastle United owner ran into further trouble in December after Findel shareholders overwhelmingly voted against appointing one of Sports Direct’s representatives to the board.

Findel also announced that it has dropped its search for a chief executive, saying that it was “no longer” appropriate following the sale and that the company should continue to be led by an executive chairman in the medium term.

The company said its current executive chairman David Sugden who has filled the role since March last year does not want to continue in the role and that it has kicked off a search for his successor.

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