By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) - The partner of Mike Ashley's daughter will get a 20.9 million pound ($26.9 million) payment for consultancy services to the billionaire's Frasers Group, before taking the helm of the retail empire next month.
Sportswear and fashion group Frasers, formerly called Sports Direct and controlled by Ashley, said last year that Michael Murray would succeed Ashley as CEO on May 1.
Murray is currently Frasers' "head of elevation" and as a consultant to the company via his MM Prop Consultancy Limited is one of highest paid individuals in British business.
MM Prop is entitled to up to 25% of any value created by services provided to Frasers.
Frasers said on Friday it had completed its assessment of the unsettled value created by MM Prop to the group, with the assistance of independent third party experts.
It said the final payment of 20.9 million pounds comes after MM Prop agreed to waive contractually due amounts such that Frasers receives a 40% discount.
"The agreement with MM Prop Consultancy Limited has delivered significant financial and strategic value for the group and its stakeholders," Frasers said in a statement.
"We are delighted that Michael will now drive us forward in our elevation journey, which we are already making strong progress with."
Murray said he was "confident we are going to take the group to new heights."
If he does, he could be in line for an even bigger pay day.
Last September, Frasers' shareholders backed a new executive share scheme which could earn him 100 million pounds if its share price hits 15 pounds for 30 consecutive trading days before October 2025.
The stock closed on Friday at 690 pence, valuing the business at 3.4 billion pounds.
Ashley, who owns 62% of the equity, plans to remain on the board as an executive director.
($1 = 0.7785 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter)