Wednesday 11 December 2019 9:49 am

JD Sports shares drop after top investor Pentland slims down stake

Shares in JD Sports fell as much as nine per cent this morning following reports majority shareholder Pentland has slimmed down its stake in the company.

Read more: Competition watchdog ploughs ahead with investigation into JD Sports

Pentland, a brand management firm and retailer, is said to have offloaded 24m shares priced at 740p each.

Despite the sale, Pentland remains the fashion chain’s largest shareholder, holding a stake of more than 50 per cent.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “The shares are still up over 100 per cent year to date, which doesn’t seem too bad a return.”

JD Sports has provided resilient to tough high street conditions, posting a 47 per cent rise in revenue in the first half of the year.

However, the retailer is currently facing a competition probe into its £90m takeover of sportswear chain Footasylum over concerns it could result in higher prices.

In October retail billionaire Mike Ashley waded into the debate, saying the watchdog’s investigation had overstated Sports Direct’s market share.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that Ashley’s retail empire would be the only retailer with comparable share of supply to the combined company.

Read more: Mike Ashley hits out at competition watchdog over JD Sports probe

But the tycoon said: “I have been watching from the side lines to date and now having had the opportunity of considering the CMA decision, I would now welcome the opportunity to provide the CMA with the correct market data.”

The CMA’s in-depth phase two inquiry is due to close on 16 March.