Mike Ashley's Sports Direct nets Agent Provocateur takeover

(c) Sky News 2017: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/mike-ashleys-sports-direct-nets-agent-provocateur-takeover-10787543">Mike Ashley's Sports Direct nets Agent Provocateur takeover</a>

The upmarket underwear brand, Agent Provocateur, has been bought out of administration by Sports Direct - the retailer controlled by billionaire tycoon Mike Ashley.

Sky News reported earlier this week how he had become the front-runner to land the struggling lingerie chain after talks involving another bidder broke down .

Mr Ashley bagged the business in a so-called pre-pack administration - meaning he was able to pick out the parts of Agent Provocateur that he wanted in a process handled by advisory firm AlixPartners on behalf of its private equity owner, 3i.

The retailer employs 600 staff and has 10 UK stores but had been struggling financially. It is not yet clear whether all the jobs have been saved.

3i said last year that Agent Provocateur had been "impacted by declining luxury spend in a number of its key markets", the effect of which had been exacerbated by "the inconsistent execution of its recent store expansion programme and the discovery of accounting issues".‎

AlixPartners said on Thursday: "We would like to thank all the staff and stakeholders for their support during this process and we wish the business and its new owners all the best for future."

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