Frasers has again lifted its stake in Boohoo Group less than two weeks after becoming the fast fashion retailer's single largest shareholder.

Majority-owned by billionaire deal-maker Mike Ashely, Frasers has raised its stake in Boohoo to 15.1% as it continues with its core strategy of investing in rival brands. Frasers first purchased a 5% stake in the company in June and has continued to build on that, upping its holding last week from 10.4% to 13.4% to leapfrog Boohoo co-founder Mahmud Kamani as its largest shareholder.

Shares in Boohoo, which also owns Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, plunged earlier this month after it warned that annual sales could fall by up to 17% amid pressure from the cost-of-living crisis. Its guidance on earnings for the year to February 28 was lowered to between £58 million and £70m.

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Based on Friday's closing share price of 29.52p, Frasers' stake in Boohoo is worth £56.6m. It owns nearly 192 million shares.

Now headed by Mr Ashley's son-in-law, chief executive Michael Murray, Frasers has been on an acquisition spree having picked up stakes in electricals giant Curry’s, its online counterpart AO World, and Boohoo rival Asos. Frasers has previously said that it sees “potential synergies” between Boohoo and two of its brands, I Saw It First and Missguided, and hopes to forge collaborations between them.

Mr Ashley opened his first sport and ski shop in 1982 and went on to build that into Sports Direct, the UK's largest sportswear retailer. He turned his attention to the premium end of the market in 2017 with the acquisition of luxury designer fashion chain Flannels, followed in 2020 by the purchase of what was then known as House of Fraser after the 169-year-old department store collapsed into administration.

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Frasers has stakes in other chains such as USC, French Connection, Hugo Boss and N Brown, and has been investing in retail property with the purchases earlier this year of the Overgate Centre in Dundee and The Mall shopping centre in Luton.

Mr Ashley stepped back from running Frasers in May of last year. He left the board in October 2022 but continues to control more than two-thirds of the shares in the business.