KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is reported to be buying the UK’s Sports Direct warehouse for £120mil or RM562mil.
UK’s Daily Mail reported yesterday that billionaire Mike Ashley, who owns British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc, was selling the site in Shirebrook, Derbyshire although his firm will stay on as a tenant for 15 years.
The newspaper reported that Ashley was slammed over poor conditions for workers at the facility, with MPs on the Business Select Committee likening it to a “Victorian workhouse” in 2016.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported Ashley had agreed to sell Newcastle United to Abu Dhabi’s billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan for £350mil (US$445.24mil).
The news wire quoted the Sun as reporting late on Sunday the contracts between Ashley and Sheikh Khaled have been signed and submitted to the Premier League.
Ashley, who bought a controlling stake in the Premier League club in 2007, has in the past tried to sell the club. Ashley said last October that he had not received any acceptable offers for Newcastle, a year after he officially put the club up for sale, but told Sky News in December that talks on a deal had made promising progress.
Any potential buyer of the club must be able to provide transfer funds, he had said at the time.
Sheikh Khaled, the cousin of Manchester City owner and Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, previously failed in his bid to buy Liverpool Football Club for 2 billion pounds last year, the Daily Mail has previously reported.
Sheikh Khaled is also the founder of Bin Zayed Group, a leading conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets. Newcastle United, the Premier League and the Bin Zayed Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comments.