Retail giant Frasers Group, led by entrepreneur Mike Ashley, has significantly increased its stake in online fashion retailer ASOS. On August 25th, the company announced that it now holds almost 20% of ASOS, a substantial jump from its 5% stake in October of last year and just over 7% in June. This recent move solidifies ASOS as the primary focus for Frasers Group, which also owns nearly 8% of Boohoo Group. By inching closer to the 26% stake held by Bestseller owner Anders Holch Povlsen, Frasers Group is quickly establishing itself as a major player in the fashion industry.

Frasers Group has a track record of acquiring businesses and stakes in various firms. It boasts significant holdings in renowned brands like Hugo Boss and Mulberry, among others. Notably, the company formed a “strategic partnership” with electricals e-tailer AO World following its acquisition of over 20% of the company a few months ago. Although there have been no discussions of a similar partnership with ASOS, reports earlier this year suggested that Frasers Group expressed interest in playing a more active role in ASOS, potentially offering financial support in exchange for a larger stake. However, these reports have yet to be confirmed.

The company highlights its expertise in establishing supportive shareholder positions in attractive retail companies, as well as its strategy of identifying investment opportunities in businesses that complement its existing sport, premium, and luxury brands, or that enhance its sector-leading ecosystem. While the increased stake in ASOS is a significant move, it remains to be seen if Frasers Group has further intentions beyond acquiring a larger stake in the company. The actions of Frasers Group in the near future will undoubtedly be closely monitored by industry observers.

Useful links:
1. ASOS official website
2. Frasers Group official website