Inside the outdoor industry

JD Sports makes £396m US retail acquisition

Cash deal for major US brand

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JD Sports has acquired US sport retail brand The Finish Line in a cash deal worth around £396 million.

There are 556 Finish Line branded retail stores across 44 US states and Puerto Rico in addition to a well-established multi-channel offering. It is also the exclusive retailer of athletic shoes, both in-store and online for Macy’s, operating 375 branded and 188 unbranded concessions within Macy’s stores. The firm employs around 3,700 full time and around 9,300 part-time staff

For the year ended 25 February 2017, Finish Line had revenues of $1.84 billion (£1.30 billion) and a profit before tax of $54 million (£38 million). For Finish Line’s year ended 3 March 2018, Finish Line had revenues of $1.84 billion (£1.30 billion)

 Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD, said: “We are extremely excited to be joining up with Finish Line, a well-established US operator. The Acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for JD to establish its market leading multi-brand proposition in the world’s largest athleisure market. It immediately offers a major presence in the US, a clear next step to further increase our global scale. Finish Line has many similarities to JD with a strong bricks and mortar offering complemented by an advanced and well-invested digital platform.  We are looking forward to working with Finish Line’s experienced management team to bring best in class retail theatre to the US. Our combined extensive knowledge of the retail market and our product and marketing relationships with global brand partners will benefit our customers, in turn supporting the continued future growth of JD.”

 “This is a landmark day for JD and will be transformational for the business.”

 Bill Carmichael, Chairman of the Special Committee and Lead Director of the Finish Line Board of Directors said: “The Special Committee appointed by the Finish Line board recommended and the board voted unanimously to approve entering into this merger agreement. With JD, Finish Line achieves immediate value for its shareholders and moves into a stronger position to compete as part of a global enterprise that leads in our industry.”

 Sam Sato, Chief Executive Officer of Finish Line said: “Finish Line has long admired JD and their commitment to serve customers with premium brands through a unique and innovative retail experience. We are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to realising the impact we will have on the marketplace together.”

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