Sportswear giant JD Sports has acquired an £5.5 million stake in a South Korean retailer in efforts to ramp up its international expansion.
JD Sports purchased a 15 per cent stake in Hot-T in a joint venture with its owner Shoemarker Inc.
The agreement leaves the option open for JD Sports to boost its stake by 35 per cent after at the end of the year if the move proves lucrative.
If the British retailer pushes forward and acquires 50 per cent of the business, the Korean chain’s assets and finances would be integrated into JD Sport’s, although the current management team would remain.
JD Sports said the “current intention to exercise this option and to re-fascia the Hot-T stores as JD”.
“We are delighted to be entering into this JV (joint venture) which gives JD the opportunity to enter a new market of over 50 million people with a proven operator,” JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said.
“This JV will further strengthen JD’s global presence.”
The news comes days after JD Sports posted double digit growth for its half year, quashing investor fears of tightening margins while raising its outlook for the full year.