Frasers Group, owned by Mike Ashley, acquires Studio Retail after administration filing

Frasers Group, owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, has acquired Studio Retail after the company filed for administration. The acquisition marks another addition to Ashley’s growing retail empire, which includes brands such as Sports Direct, House of Fraser, and Flannels.

Studio Retail, formerly known as Express Gifts, is a UK-based online retailer that specializes in personalized gifts, homeware, and clothing. The company has been struggling financially in recent years, with declining sales and mounting debts. In November 2020, Studio Retail announced that it was exploring strategic options, including a potential sale of the business.

After failing to secure a buyer, Studio Retail filed for administration in January 2021. Frasers Group quickly emerged as a potential suitor, and negotiations between the two companies began in earnest. On February 2, 2021, it was announced that Frasers Group had acquired Studio Retail for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is expected to provide a much-needed boost to Studio Retail, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Frasers Group has a track record of turning around struggling retailers, and it is hoped that the company can do the same for Studio Retail.

Mike Ashley, the founder and CEO of Frasers Group, said in a statement: “We are pleased to have acquired Studio Retail and look forward to working with the team to develop the business. Studio Retail has a strong brand and a loyal customer base, and we believe there is significant potential for growth.”

The acquisition of Studio Retail is the latest in a series of moves by Frasers Group to expand its retail portfolio. In 2018, the company acquired House of Fraser out of administration, and in 2019 it purchased the fashion retailer Jack Wills. Frasers Group has also been investing heavily in its online presence, as more and more consumers shift their shopping habits online.

The acquisition of Studio Retail is a significant development for both companies. For Frasers Group, it represents another step towards becoming a dominant player in the UK retail market. For Studio Retail, it provides a lifeline and the opportunity to turn its fortunes around under the guidance of one of the most successful retail entrepreneurs in the country.