Published 16:28 IST, May 3rd 2024

Morgan Stanley, Frasers reach settlement over $1 billion margin call

Frasers Group alleged that Morgan Stanley altered purpose of its $915 million margin call after discovering that Frasers stood behind trades held by its client.

Reported by: Business Desk
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Morgan Stanley | Image: AP Photo

Frasers Group, owned by British retail magnate Mike Ashley, has withdrawn its lawsuit against Morgan Stanley regarding a nearly $1 billion margin call, a spokesperson for the Wall Street bank confirmed on Friday.

The lawsuit, filed in London, involved approximately 47 million euros ($50.5 million) after Morgan Stanley enforced the margin call on Frasers Group's trading position in German fashion group Hugo Boss in May 2021.


During the trial at London's High Court in February, Ashley testified that the collateral demand had left him in "total shock."

Frasers Group decided to withdraw its lawsuit before the court issued a ruling, Morgan Stanley stated on Friday.


In a joint statement, the bank's spokesperson noted, "Frasers Group plc and Mr. Michael Ashley have both withdrawn their claims against Morgan Stanley on terms which do not involve any payment of monies by any party to any other."

The resolution effectively concludes the disputes between the parties.


Frasers Group had alleged that Morgan Stanley altered the purpose of its $915 million margin call after discovering that Frasers stood behind trades held by its client, Saxo Bank. Frasers contended that Morgan Stanley's staff viewed Ashley negatively and utilized the margin call to force trades held by the company off its books, partly due to snobbery.

However, Morgan Stanley maintained that it had no contractual relationship with Frasers, only with Saxo Bank, and asserted that the margin call aimed to ensure proper protection from exposure to stock market bets.


The margin call incident occurred two months following the collapse of family office Archegos Capital, where Morgan Stanley incurred losses of $911 million.

Separately, Saxo Bank and Frasers had settled their case prior to the trial.


(With Reuters inputs)

16:28 IST, May 3rd 2024