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Mike Ashley's Frasers raises Hugo Boss exposure up to $937 million

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LONDON (Reuters) -Mike Ashley's Frasers Group said on Wednesday it has increased its maximum exposure to Hugo Boss to $937 million and reiterated its support for the German fashion brand's strategy and management team.

Frasers, which was formerly called Sports Direct and is on a drive to move upmarket, said it now holds 4.9% of Hugo Boss stock directly and a further 26% of stock indirectly via the sale of derivatives known as put options.

The British sportswear and apparel retailer said its maximum aggregate exposure in connection with its interests was about 900 million euros or 770 million pounds ($937 million).

Frasers first took a stake in Hugo Boss in 2020 and has consistently stated its support for its management.

"This investment reflects Frasers Group's belief in the Hugo Boss brand, strategy and management team. Frasers Group continues to intend to be a supportive stakeholder and create value in the interests of both Frasers Group's and Hugo Boss' shareholders," Frasers said on Wednesday.

Hugo Boss is a supplier to the group's House of Fraser and Flannels chains.

Shares in Frasers were flat at 0757 GMT, while shares in Hugo Boss were down 0.5%.

Ashley stepped down as Frasers CEO last month. He remains an executive director and owns 69% of the equity.

He was succeeded as CEO by Michael Murray, his son in law.

(1 British pound = 1.1653 euros)

($1 = 0.8216 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle and James Davey, Editing by Kate Holton and Elaine Hardcastle)

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