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Billionaire Mike Ashley will close half of Evans Cycles stores in the UK as part of a deal to buy the struggling chain. The firm, which is nearly 100 years old and employs 1,300 people, was sold to Sports Direct on Tuesday. Ashley, who paid £90m for House of Fraser in August, said: “In order to save the business, we only believe we will be able to keep 50% of stores open in the future.” In a statement, Sports Direct said that it would contact Evans Cycles landlordsin the next few days.

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