JD Sports Fashion has acquired 100 per cent of the shares in the Irish-based retailer Champion Sports, according to a statement released today.
A part of the deal, which is conditional on the approval of the Competition Authority in the Republic of Ireland, JD will advance €17.1 million (£14.7 million) by way of a secured loan to allow Champion’s outstanding debts to be settled.
Champion was formed in 1992 and now has 22 stores in Eire and an additional store in Northern Ireland, whereas before the deal JD had only eight stores in the area.
Peter Cowgill, CEO of JD Sports, commented: “We are very pleased to announce that we have exchanged contracts for the acquisition of Champion, which will give us an enhanced presence in the Republic of Ireland.”
JD recorded a very healthy 3.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales last year in a tough and competitive market.
Champion, in contrast, has recently been struggling, with its last set of full-year result showing a turnover of €54 million, an operating loss of €1.8 million, a loss before tax of €4.9 million and gross assets of €36.2 million.
Although Irish retail faces a difficult year ahead due to the forced austerity measures being implemented by the country’s government, JD is confident that it can turn its fortunes around.
Cowgill added: “By drawing on the current management team’s expertise and local knowledge, we are confident that this acquisition will bring financial benefits in the future.”