Sports Direct has confirmed the sale of its headquarters in a £120m ($153m) deal with a Malaysian pension fund.
Kwasa Logix Sportivo, said to be owned by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), bought the freehold to the company’s base in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
Mike Ashley’s discount sportswear retailer will take a 15-year lease and continue to operate from the site.
It comes amid speculation the tycoon is looking to take over further troubled retailers.
Mr Ashley is also said to be nearing the sale of Newcastle United after Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan revealed on Monday the pair had “agreed terms”.
EPF manages the pension savings of more than seven million workers and also owns one of the Battersea Power station developments.
Sports Direct said proceeds from selling its HQ would be used to boost its working capital and put towards its group operations,
Last week Mr Ashley sold his entire 4.8% stake in struggling online firm Mysal.
Over the last year, he has taken over House of Fraser, Sofa.com and Evans Cycles, while Debenhams recently rejected two last-ditch takeover offers from Sports Direct after it went into administration.
The firm recently decided to close its warehouse in Wigan, threatening 300 jobs, and said employees would be offered alternative work at Shirebrook.
Sports Direct’s Shirebrook site
- At least 3,500 agency workers and 500 permanent staff were employed at the site, according to 2016 figures
- Agency workers – largely employed in the company’s warehouse – come mainly from countries such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Albani
- Eleven years ago Shirebrook saw the arrival of large numbers of workers from Eastern Europe because of Sports Direct
- The influx was blamed for crowding in the town and in 2016 the BBC was shown houses “carved into flats” including one with rooms partitioned down the middle of its windows
- The retailer was accused of “not treating its workers like humans” by MPs but said its policy was to treat all people “with dignity and respect”