Goldman left holding Sports Direct stock after Ashley’s sale

David Hellier
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GOLDMAN Sachs has failed to sell all the 24m shares in Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct it took onto its books on Monday afternoon.

Market sources believe that Goldman Sachs might have a large portion of the £204m block unsold after a torrid time on Tuesday when Sports Direct shares fell sharply from 883.5p to 811p.

Investors were miffed that Ashley was selling the shares even though the company said the move was to improve liquidity in the stock. Even after the sale Ashley still owns 57.7 per cent of the stock.

Investor confidence has been rocked by the fact that share prices in a number of newly-floated stocks, such as AO World and Just-Eat, retreated sharply earlier this week.

Goldman’s situation might have been worse had it agreed a higher price for the Sport Direct stock on Monday. The range for the deal was between 850p-870p and in the end Ashley agreed to sell at the lower price. His decision to sell a large block of shares came days after investors blocked his £73m bonus.

Goldman Sachs is not expecting to make a statement regarding a disclosable, meaning three per cent, stake in Sports Direct, suggesting the bank has sold at least one quarter of the four per cent block of shares.