Mike Ashley
Billionaire tycoon Mike Ashley
Richard Bell

Newcastle United's Mike Ashley drops out of Patisserie Valerie rescue race

Sports Direct has dropped its multi-million pound rescue bid for collapsed cafe chain Patisserie Valerie.

The move comes just two days after the group, led by retail billionaire Mike Ashley, made its initial offer.

Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, announced a £15m bid for Patisserie Valerie on Friday evening. But administrator KPMG told the company up to £2m more was needed, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Patisserie Valerie went under in January and KPMG shut 70 outlets, but kept the remaining 121 open as it sought a buyer.

A number of companies are believed to be bidding for Patisserie Valerie, including coffee shop chain Costa, which was last year snapped up by drinks giant Coca-Cola.

Budget chain Sports Direct is among the largest sporting goods retailers in the UK. Under Mr Ashley’s direction, the firm has become known for acquiring struggling retail companies, such as department store business House of Fraser and cycle chain Evans.

Sports Direct also owns lingerie company Agent Provocateur and part of Debenhams, Game Digital and French Connection.

In January, Mike Ashley reportedly put in a bid for HMV after the struggling entertainment retailer fell into administration.

But he was beaten, along with several other bidders, by Canadian company Sunrise Records.

The Sunrise deal covered 100 of HMV’s stores, saving around 1,487 jobs. But according to the BBC, 27 stores are closing and 455 staff being made redundant.

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