Heatons owner Ashley eyes up Clerys site in expansion of Irish operations

Sports Direct, the UK-based sport retailer headed up by Mike Ashley, is said to be eyeing up the former Clerys building as part of its Irish expansion.

In Ireland Sports Direct owns 50pc of Heatons, which has 60 stores here and the British retailer has signalled its intention to buy out the remaining half, according to a report in The Irish Times.

When quizzed by the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for Heatons made no comment over the links between it and the Clerys site.

Read More: Ex-Clerys worker 6 months after demise of iconic department store

The Clerys site is currently owned by the Natrium Consortium, which bought it for €29m in June of last year.

Clerys closure in June led to the loss of 460 jobs and sparked numerous protests by shell-shocked workers.

The iconic site on Dublin’s O’Connell Street entered into receivership before being scooped up by Natrium.

Read more: Victory for Clerys staff as company law to be probed

In January ex-Clerys workers gained their first victory following the store’s closure after the Government committed two experts to carry out a review of company law.

Kevin Duffy and company law specialist Nessa Cahill will deliver a report this month, with recommendations on how to prevent what happened to the 460 staff in Clerys from occurring again.

The review will look at how to prevent companies restructuring or separating valuable assets from their operations arm in a bid to avoid their responsibility to employees.

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