Mike Ashley reported to be considering bid for Meadowhall Shopping Centre

Mike Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct, is reportedly considering putting in a bid for Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

It a deal goes ahead, this would be the retail mogul’s biggest investment in the retail property market.

Frasers Group, the FTSE 100 retail group which is majority-owned by Ashley, is “one of a handful of parties” to have shown an interest in Meadowhall, according to The Times, quoting “an informed source”.

British Land and Norges Bank put the shopping centre on the market last year with a reported asking price of £750m.

Meadowhall is the fifth largest mall in the UK, covering 1.4 million sq ft and attracting about 24 million people each year.

British Land acquired Meadowhall for £1.2bn from Yorkshire developers Eddie Healey and Paul Sykes in 1999. The property giant sold 50% of the mall to Norges in 2012 in a deal which valued it at £1.5bn.

However, since then the value of the shopping centre has halved and any buyer would also have to shoulder the centre’s £450m debt.