Small Part of High Street Refuses the Mike Ashley Handshake

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sports Direct and almost everything else owner Mike Ashley has been told he can't have Patisserie Valerie to add to his collection of failing UK businesses, as his cheeky offer wasn't considered high enough -- so he's OUT, like the unpopular, untelevised dragon he is.

Ashley's Sports Direct behemoth offered £15m to buy the posh cakes chain from its administrators on Friday, only to be told that the starting price must be at least £2m higher. He spat cold tea out of his massive mug at that, and pulled his offer entirely two days later.

Sports Direct seems to think it has been treated unfairly, with the FT reporting the contents of the chain's bid withdrawal letter as saying: "SD has reluctantly decided to withdraw its offer for the businesses, as it is not able to match an offer of 18 million pounds plus without having access to any due diligence, financial information or management meetings," suggesting the administrators didn't take the initial offer seriously and weren't keen to help Ashley add to his collection of struggling high street brands. [Reuters]