Mike Ashley pounces after Debenhams coup

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Debenhams has said it may need new sources of funding after a difficult Christmas period Debenhams has said it may need new sources of funding after a difficult Christmas periodNICK ANSELL/PA

Mike Ashley spoke to Terry Duddy, the interim chairman of Debenhams, in a meeting described as “constructive” hours after Sports Direct helped vote his predecessor off the board.

The billionaire founder of Sports Direct, the largest shareholder in Debenhams, is said to have told Mr Duddy of his frustration with how the department store had been run recently under the leadership of Sir Ian Cheshire, the former chairman, and Sergio Bucher, chief executive.

Mr Duddy quickly arranged the meeting with Mr Ashley on Thursday evening after Sports Direct teamed up with Milestone Resources, the vehicle controlled by Micky Jagtiani, a Dubai-based billionaire, to vote against the reappointment of Sir Ian and Mr Bucher. Sir Ian resigned immediately while Mr Bucher agreed to stay on as…

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