With the news last week that ASOS had slumped to a near £32m loss and its share price had tanked by over 80% in the year to date, it was almost inevitable that we would see interest for further afield. And there’s none more acquisitive than Frasers. For those of us who witnessed his steady rate of acquiring a larger and larger stake in the then-struggling Debenhams, this latest move on ASOS is very much a case of déjà vu.
With Frasers Group increasing its stake to over 5% in ASOS, it becomes the fourth largest shareholder – and whenever Ashley acquires a significant stake he rarely lets go of his prey. Frasers has big ambitions through its elevation programme spearheaded by new CEO and Ashley’s son, Michael and ASOS seem like a good fit. And as an added bonus it wouldn’t have escaped Ashley that he would be acquiring (albeit indirectly) Topshop and Topman from his once arch-rival on the high street, Philip Green.