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JD Sports expands through two further acquisitions

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Sports and youth fashion retailer JD Sports has expanded its operations in both the UK & Europe by acquiring two rival businesses, it was confirmed today.

JD has bought 50.1 per cent of the shares in Spain-based Sprinter, which operates 47 stores mainly in the Andalucia and Levante regions and had net assets at the time of acquisition of approximately €5 million (£4.4 million).

Operating under the new subsidiary JD Sprinter Holdings, it is JD’s intention to continue to grow the Sprinter business in Spain as well as introducing more fashion-focused JD fascias into the country.

Along with extending its reach internationally JD also boosted its UK business with the purchase of Cecil Gee, which runs nine domestic based sports and fashion stores, from suit specialist Moss Bros for a total net consideration of £1.7 million.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD, said: “We are very pleased to announce these two acquisitions which both result from our strategy of selectively expanding our European retail presence and increasing our exposure to a broader portfolio of premium brands.”

JD has been busy buying up small retail businesses in its sector over the last year or so, and this looks set to continue after the firm posted impressive pre-tax profits of £78.6 million in 2010.

This year already it has purchased the Republic of Ireland’s Champion retailer, adding to the 75 stores in France bought in 2009 under the Chausport brand and the various facias it took control of last year.

Sprinter was founded in 1981 by the Segarra family and has expanded greatly over the last 15 years thanks to investment from the Bernad family. Both groups will hold the remaining 49.9 per cent of the shares in the business.

For the year ending December 31st 2009 the combined Sprinter businesses had a consolidated turnover of €80 million and profit before tax of €2.1 million.

Cowgill added: “We look forward to working with the very experienced and knowledgeable management team in Spain and bringing our own expertise to bear as we continue to develop JD’s presence in Europe.

“At the same time, the acquisition of the Cecil Gee stores provides us with a low risk springboard for the development of a well funded profitable premium brand fashion chain.”

Published on Monday 20 June by Editorial Assistant

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