Mike Ashley joins Hornby as consultant amid Frasers Group’s increased stake

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Mike Ashley Hornby Frasers Group LSE HRN FRAS

International models and collectibles group Hornby has engaged retail tycoon Mike Ashley as a consultant to the company.

The appointment comes one month after it was revealed that Mr Ashley’s company Frasers Group had upped its stake as a strategic shareholder.

Mr Ashley will provide the services to the toy company through his wholly-owned company Mash Holdings.

He will be available to support Hornby chief executive officer Olly Raeburn and the wider business, particularly in relation to systems, operations, logistics and broader matters of strategy.

No remuneration will be payable to Mash under the consulting agreement.

Strategic stake

Mr Ashley is the founder and majority shareholder of sports and luxury retailer Frasers Group, which last month bought an 8.9% stake in Hornby.

The group behind Sports Direct and entertainment provider GAME Retail acquired 11.1 million new shares in addition to its existing holding to boost its total stake to 15.17 million shares.

The move saw Frasers become the third largest shareholder in the business, behind UK firms Phoenix Asset Management and Artemis Investment Management.

Retail support

Mr Raeburn said Frasers would bring valuable retail support to the company’s registry.

“Frasers Group has built a powerful ecosystem through its brand partners, scaled shared services and distribution channels over the years,” he said.

“We have long admired the company’s approach to merchandising and logistics and welcome them as a supportive shareholder… we look forward to exploring commercial opportunities and working together to unlock the full potential of Hornby’s much loved brands.”

Good fit

Frasers chief financial officer Chris Wootton said Hornby would be a good fit for the group.

“We have a vision to build the planet’s most admired and compelling brand ecosystem [and] we look forward to exploring opportunities to further leverage our scale in retail logistics and distribution,” he said.

“This is consistent with our [objective] of pursuing strategic interests to enhance value for all stakeholders.”

Mr Ashley’s role as consultant to Hornby is believed to align with Frasers’ policy of partnering with strategic investments to add value for Hornby and Frasers shareholders.

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