Sports Direct International (SPD) owner Mike Ashley has settled a US legal dispute – just one day after a New York court called on him to give evidence under international law. Judge Andrew Borrok, of the New York Supreme Court, issued the request to the Queen’s Bench of the High Court in London for ‘compelling oral evidence for use at trial’ from Ashley. The evidence related to Ashley’s role in his disputed deal to acquire the $100 million (£77 million) US retail chain Eastern Outfitters. Papers allege the deal was done in haste ‘with limited due diligence over a two-day period’ in 2017. Vestis, which sold the company’s $17 million debt to Ashley, handing him control, said Sports Direct still owed it an additional sum.
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) is bracing for an investor backlash over plans to hand bonuses to bosses of up to 200% of their salary. Shareholders will have the chance to vote on the proposal today as they meet to decide on the housebuilder’s £1 billion takeover of the residential arm of construction firm Galliford Try (GFRD). The acquisition will make Bovis Britain’s fourth-largest housebuilder, potentially producing up to 12,000 homes a year. If the takeover and pay scheme is approved, bosses would be able to earn long-term performance share bonuses of up to 200% of their salary – up from 150% previously – as well as cash bonuses of up to 150% of their salary – up from 100%.
De La Rue (DLAR) has come under fire for paying its former boss nearly £5 million. Martin Sutherland received £4.8 million in pay for running the company since 2014 before stepping down in May after the first of three profit warnings which have pushed the company close to collapse. The crisis at the company follows the loss last year of a key £400 million contract to manufacture Britain’s new blue post-Brexit passports, which will now be made by Franco-Dutch rival Gemalto. On Tuesday, De La Rue warned that it could go bust if its turnaround plan fails. The company said there was a ‘material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on the group’s ability to operate as a going concern’. The announcement caused the shares to dive 20 per cent. Up to 2,500 jobs are at risk.