LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - British sportswear retailer Sports Direct plans to buy back up to 100 million pounds ($139.7 million) of its equity as it seeks to further reduce the share capital of the company, it said on Tuesday.
The firm, controlled by founder and Chief Executive Mike Ashley, said its latest buyback programme would run until its annual shareholders meeting on Sept. 5.
It said a maximum of 30 million shares could be purchased.
Shares in Sports Direct, down 5 percent so far this year, closed Tuesday at 357.6 pence, valuing the business at 1.94 billion pounds.
Ashley owns 61 percent of the equity.
The retailer, which has been criticised for its disclosure, corporate governance and past treatment of workers, is trying to revive sales and profit growth with smarter stores that sell more premium products from the likes of Nike and Adidas . ($1 = 0.7160 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)