The owner of the iconic Kendals department store in Manchester has bought a stake in a fashion brand in the city. Frasers Group, which also owns Sports Direct, has snapped up a 4.54% stake in N Brown, whose brands include Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo.
JD Williams counts Davina McCall and Amanda Holden as ambassadors who appear in adverts for the brand.
Frasers Group, was founded by billionaire Mike Ashley and is now run by Mr Ashley's son-in-law Michael Murray, also counts the likes of Jack Wills, Evans Cycles, Everlast and Flannels among its brands. Earlier this year it acquired Lancashire-based Studio Retail Group after it collapsed into administration owing more than £80m.
It later bought Manchester-based online fashion brand Missguided for £20m after it also entered administration.
I Saw It First, which is also located in the city, was acquired by the group for an undisclosed fee in July.
The deal comes after shares in N Brown fell sharply last week after it warned the cost of living crisis will continue to hit its sales.
The company said that "uncertainty around macroeconomic conditions persists" and that it was second quarter product revenue decline of 9.4% continued into September. The business added that it is planning on the basis of the "challenging market conditions continuing for longer".
After N Brown updated the markets, the company's share price dropped by more than 17% to its lowest level since May 2020 before later rising.