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Mulberry rejects Mike Ashley’s bid to join board

Mulberry has rejected Frasers Group CEO Mike Ashley’s efforts to join its board, with CEO Thierry Andretta claiming he does not have the “expertise that we need to grow the company”.

Frasers Group already has a 36.8% stake in the luxury handbag retailer but is ultimately controlled by Malaysian billionaire Ong Beng Seng and his wife, Christina, who holds over a 56% stake.

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Recently, Ashely was reported to have met Mulberry’s executive team hoping to join the boardroom as he grows frustrated over “a lack of transparency” around the retailer’s poor-performing business in Asia, The Times reported.

In 2017, Mulberry launched its partnership with Ong’s Singapore company, Challice, to expand the luxury brand in the Far East.

As a result, Challice holds a 40% stake in the venture.

However, the request has not been granted or turned down yet, with Ashley understood to be questioning operation arrangements, how the Ongs benefit from the deal and whether it rents property from Challice.

A spokesperson for Mulberry said: “We have a constructive dialogue with all our shareholders and we do not provide public commentary on the details of these conversations.”

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