JD sports to pay $558 million to kick start American expansion

JD SPORTSUK-based sporting giant JD Sports will kick start its expansion into the US by paying $558 million for struggling American sneaker chain The Finish Line.

The deal, which is subject to the approval of TFL’s shareholders, is a $13.50 per share offer for 100 per cent of the business, which values it at 6.2 times earnings.

TFL operates more than 900 stores in the US, made up of standalone shops and concessions, booking US$1.8 billion in revenues for the last fiscal year.

JD and TFL hope the have the deal done by June if its approved, a move that would significantly expand JD’s presence amid its increasingly global focus in recent years with expansion into Australia and throughout Europe.

TFL’s board has approved the deal, increasing the likelihood that it will pass without hassle.

Current TFL CEO Sam Sato will continue to lead the business if it is acquired by JD.

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

JD’s executive chairman Peter Cowgill said that TFL is a well established operator and JD’s ownership would position the business for future success.

“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,” Cowgill said.

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